Chops a la Porcine

It’s just not possible to give you all the ways that pig parts can be delightful. Even loving the movie “Babe” and the book “Charlotte’s Web” hasn’t slowed down our familial enthusiasm for anything that tastes like piggy. I apologize to my Jewish or Muslim friends, those of you with high cholesterol or on a diet of celery stalks, to my vegetarian or vegan contacts. Anyone out there who’s on the paleo diet or gluten-free or possibly the no-carbs-all-meat sweats routine…you’re in.

Bacon. ‘Nuff said, but all the same, it can be cooked into place mats, bowls and other fun objects d’art. My kids will eat anything wrapped in it or containing it. Throw it in my cheeseburger. Smothered in dark chocolate works too.

Ham. I buy the biggest one I can find in Costco. The first meal through, I roast the whole thing smothered in honey sauce. Then I freeze leftover large pieces for emergency dinners later, slices for future breakfasts, and the bones for soup pots. When the freezer is empty, I repeat the process.

Roasts. Have been covered in the Crockpot stories. Cook ’em and shred ’em.

Chops. Yes please. Cheap, fast, easy.

  • Take a bag of any brand dry stuffing mix and put through your blender to make fine crumbs. You can add garlic powder, Cajun spices, etc at the same time. It’s cheaper and healthier than “Shake N Bake”; I’m not a fan of MSG. Put them in a bowl.
  • Rinse each chop, drip dry for a second or pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Place each chop in the bowl of crumbs and cover it all up.
  • Place each coated chop onto a foil lined baking sheet.
  • Throw away the paper towel. Throw away the leftover crumbs. Clean up everything thoroughly as you go.
  • Bake at 425* for 15 minutes. Don’t check them, don’t turn them. Wash your hands and make a salad or something while you wait.

If the chops were thin, cook a couple minutes less, if they were fatties, this is still plenty of cooking time. I use this same technique with chicken pieces (400* for an hour) because I almost never pan fry anything. Maybe I’m healthy, maybe I’m too lazy to clean the mess….maybe who has time to stand guard over a hot greasy skillet that long?

Chicharrones. Sausages. Ribs. Hocks. Shanks. Carnitas. Borsch. Chili. Burgers. Egg rolls. Stir fry. Cracklin’s. Lumpia.

But if you come at me with a head or a hoof, I’m out.

No to innards. Do not even think about it.

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