GINNA PARSONS: Pork chops take on Cajun flavor

By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

Three or four weeks ago, I spent the day poring over cookbooks and coming up with new recipes to try. I made a grocery list and bought all the ingredients necessary to make a fish dish, a chicken dish and a pork dish.
The fish and the chicken we made. However, for some reason, the pork got pushed to the back-burner. After two days of sitting in the refrigerator, the chops got wrapped and bagged and stuck in the freezer.
I had actually forgotten about them – and the recipe I had intended to make – until co-worker Michaela Morris came in the office one day last week with a recipe she wanted me to try that her mother-in-law had prepared.
Michaela’s been talking about this recipe for a while now. She said her whole family loves it, and she’s got two small children who can be picky eaters at times.
When her mother-in-law made these chops, she served them with cabbage and pinto beans. But Michaela said when she gets ready to prepare them, she’ll likely serve them with orzo or mashed potatoes and either steamed broccoli or asparagus.
I think they’d be good with brown rice and a pile of grilled vegetables, like bell peppers, onions, mushrooms and squash.

Cajun Pecan Pork Chops
12 cup pecan halves, toasted
12 cup plain breadcrumbs
14 teaspoon salt
12 teaspoon paprika
14 teaspoon dried oregano
14 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 (4 -ounce) lean boneless pork chops
14 cup flour
12 cup buttermilk
Spread pecans evenly on a flat baking sheet; toast in a 350-degree oven for 5 to 8 minutes or until golden. Process pecans, bread crumbs, salt, paprika, oregano and cayenne pepper in a blender until pecans are finely chopped. Place flour, buttermilk and pecan mixture into three separate shallow containers. Coat pork chops in flour, dip in buttermilk, then coat in pecan mixture. Chill 1 hour.
Arrange pork on a rack coated with cooking spray. Place rack in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Coat pork evenly with cooking spray. Bake 15 minutes. Turn; coat pork with cooking spray. Bake 5 more minutes or until chops reach 155 degrees. Remove from oven and serve.
Serves 6.
Nutritional info per serving: 284 calories, 13g fat, 13g carbs, 27g protein, 386mg sodium.

Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.