NEW ORLEANS —
Brine for Pork Chops
4-6 pork pork chops
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
6 cups water
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup of peppercorns
4 sprigs of thyme
Combine the brown sugar and salt in the water and bring to a boil. Stir until dissolved and then add the rest of the brine ingredients. Lower heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and allow to cool completely to room temperature. Once the solution has completely cooled, add the pork chops and brine solution to a Ziplock bag. Seal and squeeze out as much air as possible. Put the sealed bag with brining pork into a pot or large bowl, one that can hold all of the liquid in case something happens to the bag. Place the bowl containing the brining meat into a refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours.
1 Tbsp. Creole seasoning
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. coarse black pepper
½ tsp. smoked paprika
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. onion powder
1/4 cup milk, plus 2 Tbsp. water
2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
4 to 6 boneless pork chops
1 cup vegetable oil
Whisk together flour, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder in a shallow bowl.
Beat eggs, milk, and water in a separate shallow bowl.
Place seasoned bread crumbs in another shallow bowl.
Place pork chops between two sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper and pound with a meat mallet to thin them to about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick. Season with Creole seasoning.
Heat oil about ¾ inch deep over medium-high in a cast iron skillet. Heat oil to 375 degrees.
Dip each pork chop in the flour mixture, coating both sides. Then dunk each side into the beaten eggs and press both sides into bread crumbs. Shake off any access after step.
Carefully drop pork chop into heated oil and fry on both sides until cooked through (Cooking for about 2 minutes on one side, flip, and then about 1 minutes on the other side, making sure no pink juices remain). The pork chops should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Maintain an oil temperature between 350 and 375 degrees for best results.
Place a wire cooling rack on a paper towel-lined cookie sheet. When pork chops are cooked place them on the wire rack to drain. This allows air circulation and will keep the chops crisp.
Continue dredging (dipping in flour, egg, bread crumb mixtures) the remaining pork chops and cooking, taking care not to overcrowd the pan.
Spaghetti Aglio E Olio
1 pound dried spaghetti
1/2 cup olive oil
6 to 8 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
optional garnishes: chopped fresh parsley, freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
Bring a large stockpot of generously-salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook until nearly al dente.
Meanwhile, about 3 minutes after you add the pasta to the boiling water, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, or until it is lightly golden.
Toss the pasta in the sauce. As soon as the pasta is ready to go, use tongs to transfer the pasta to the sauté pan, along with 1/2 cup of the hot starchy pasta water. Toss the pasta continuously until it is evenly coated in the garlic sauce. If the sauce looks a bit too dry, add in another 1/4 cup of the starchy pasta water.
Give the pasta a quick taste, add an extra pinch of salt and/or crushed red pepper flakes if needed.
Garnished with parsley and Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.