Creole Crispy Pan-Fried Southern "Poke Chops"

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wwltv.com

Posted on June 22, 2011 at 4:30 PM

If there's one universal meat that folks here love above all others, it's pork chops (we usually call 'em poke chops). We like 'em grilled, broiled, baked, stewed, sauteed, barbecued, roasted, braised, and smothered. But concensus notes that we love 'em best of all "pan fried. with a nice crispy outer coating." If that's the kind of gourmet fare that interests you and makes your mouth run water, then here' your recipe. . .done right!

2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 - 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons Frank Davis pork seasoning
4 bone-in rib or center cut pork chops, 3/4 inch to 1 inch thick
3 slices hickory smoked bacon, chopped
2/3 cup high quality vegetable or corn oil

The first thing you want to do is make your seasoning mix. To do this, you combine completely in a small to medium-size bowl the garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Next, place the flour, spiced up with the pork seasoning, in a shallow dish.

Now, with a handful of absorbent paper towels, pat each of the chops dry. Then set them on a large cutting board and, with a sharp paring knife, make two perimeter slits about two inches apart through the fat on the edges of each chop.

That done, it's time to liberally season both sides of the chops with your spice mixture. Then, very meticulously, lightly dredge the chops in the flour (but do not discard the flour just yet). When uniformly coated, transfer the chops to a large plate and let them "rest to set" for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook down the bacon until its fat renders and the bacon turns crisp (which should take about 8 minutes or so). Then, using a slotted spoon, simply transfer the fried bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and set it aside for use in another recipe. Oh-and do not wipe out the pan!

Finally, when you're ready to eat, add the corn oil to the bacon fat already in the pan and heat the combined mixture over a medium-high heat until it just starts to smoke.

All that's left then is to dredge the chops once more in the flour dish and slowly ease them into the skillet containing the hot grease.

Finish up by pan-frying the chops until they become well browned, which should take about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. I recommend you serve them immediately out of the skillet while they are piping hot!

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CHEF'S NOTES:

This recipe also works with boneless pork chops, but the bone-in variety seems to have a more intense flavor.

You can save whatever seasoning mix is left over for future use by placing it in an airtight glass or plastic container and stashing it in the bottom of the refrigerator.

These pork chops go great with a couple of tablespoons of green pepper jelly on the side as your condiment.

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