Parmesan pork chops made in the oven will make you rethink that popular boxed coating mix. That shake and bake box mix was quite popular in the latter half of the 20th century. Nowadays, we are much more cognizant of the unsavory, often unpronounceable, ingredients in those box mixes. It’s so easy to make it homemade with everyday pantry staples found in most kitchens. This way you know exactly what’s in there, and the bonus is that it tastes much better.
It is important not to over-cook pork chops or they will turn into shoe leather. I like them medium-rare (145 F.), but most people will prefer them a bit more done, so I’ve specified medium (160 F.). Keep in mind that the temperature will rise a bit more during the brief resting period. Feel free to adjust the seasonings to suit the tastes of your family. Just about any herb will work. You might also like to try this method on chicken. Adjust the baking time accordingly. Minimum internal temperature for chicken should be 165 F.
Oven-Fried Parmesan Pork Chops Recipe
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 to 3 Tablespoons (about) olive oil
4 (1/2- to 1-inch thick) bone-in center-cut loin pork chops, at room temperature (see Notes)
1 cup (about) panko crumbs (see Notes)
1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a shallow baking pan with foil. Place a level rack inside the pan.
Whisk together brown sugar, paprika, kosher salt, onion powder, thyme, garlic powder, sage, and black pepper. Set aside.
Brush a thin coat of olive oil on each side of each of the pork chops. (I rub the chops with my fingers.) Sprinkle evenly on both sides with the seasoning mix and lightly press to stick to the meat.
Place the panko crumbs in a shallow dish. Coat each pork chop with the panko, pressing so the crumbs adhere.
Place on the rack in the prepared pan so that they do not touch. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending upon the thickness of the pork chops. Centers should test at least 160 F. with an instant-read thermometer.
Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes before serving.
Yield: 4 servings
• Boneless loin chops may be substituted for the center-cut chops. This method doesn’t work as well with thin-cut chops, because you’ll need at least 30 minutes to get the panko nicely browned, at which point the thin chops will become overcooked and dry.
• Do not use fine panko crumbs or the coating will become soggy. I do not recommend substituting fine bread crumbs for the same reason.