Saturday, February 9, 2013

Basil Pesto Panko Crusted Pork Chops

My BFF and I have made this a weekly ritual. Aside from the occasional tired meal...where we used boxed items, we try to make a meal from scratch and go all out completely enjoying each others company, drinking wine and just having a good night in general. This past week, we purchased some pork chops from Sams digress just a bit, have you seen the meat from Sam's Club? These pork chops were about 2 inches thick!! Gorgeous to say the least. But back on point. Last fall, at the end of the harvest, we pulled up all of the basil and made basil pesto and froze it. We pulled basil pesto out and decided to use that as our "egg wash" and coat the chops in panko. We whipped up a mushroom alfredo and with the pesto that was not contaminated with the raw pork, we mixed it into the pasta and served that as a side. They were excellent and I hope you all enjoy!

Basil Pesto
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
4 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pork chops
5 or 6 thick cup boneless pork chops
1 – 2 cups panko bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste

For the pesto, combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. Add the garlic, pulse a few times more. Slowly drizzle the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.  In two separate bowls, place the pesto in one and the bread crumbs in another. Coat each chop with a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Take one chop and coat in the pesto on all sides, transfer to the dish with the panko bread crumbs. Make sure all areas are coated. Place on a cooking sheet. Repeat until all pork chops are covered. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pork chops for about an hour or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.