This was the last meal I made and photographed for the blog in our old place (moment of silence please. Ha! Just kidding!). This meal came at that in-between stage you hit during a move: where you’re well into the throes of preparing for the movers to come, but you aren’t yet on the days on end of take-out diet because the kitchen is inaccessible. In other words, the meal you cook has to be quick and simple. And hopefully it can use up a fridge or pantry staple that you don’t want to throw out, but there’s not enough of it in the can/bag/jar/bottle to justify moving it to the new place.
I found an open bag of roasted pistachios in the refrigerator, then found this pork chop recipe, and as they say, dinner was served. I can honestly say that I would have made this meal anyway, and would happily make it again (unlike some of the slop I threw together in the last days of having a working kitchen, ahem).
The pork chops were tender inside and crunchy outside, tangy from the pistachios and mild from the pork flavor. Easy to prep and easy to clean up. I adore a good nut-crusted protein anyway, but for whatever reason I don’t think I’d had anything crusted with pistachios, and I’ve concluded that I have missed out a great deal. The flavor really pops. I hope you enjoy this one, moving or not!
Recipe notes: you could really use whatever pork chop you prefer for this. It would work on thin-cut, thick-cut, bone-in or boneless. I used a thick-cut bone-in chop, simply because that’s my favorite one that I find is most flavorful and easiest to cook. If you’re going for thin-cut, you’ll need to cut back on the cooking time. Use a meat thermometer to be sure.
Source: Every Day with Rachael Ray, November 2008
½ cup shelled unsalted pistachios
1 clove garlic
1 tsp lemon zest
¼ cup fresh breadcrumbs
Fresh cracked black pepper
4 (1-inch thick) bone-in pork chops
1 large egg, beaten
¼ cup olive oil
Preheat your oven to 400 F.
Using a food processor, finely grind the nuts, garlic, lemon zest, and ½ tsp kosher salt. Be careful you don’t overdo it and make nut butter here. Transfer the ground nut mixture to a shallow bowl or pie plate, then whisk in the breadcrumbs.
Season the pork chops with salt and pepper to taste. Dip each chop into the egg, let the excess drip off, then coat both sides well with the nut mixture. Transfer to a plastic plate or baking sheet as you go.
In a large, oven-safe skillet, such as a cast iron, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pork chops and cook until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until a meat thermometer inserted into the center reads 145 F, about 15-20 minutes.
Let rest for 5 minutes, then serve.