Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Emeril to the Rescue

My original plan for dinner last night was to do this pork tenderloin recipe that I had found in my new Vera Bradley Cooking with Friends cookbook. Unfortunately, I hadn't paid close attention to the recipe, or I would have realized that I needed to let the pork tenderloin marinate for 24 hours before grilling. Rick and I decided that it would be the perfect meal for this weekend which left me wondering what I was going to do for dinner that night.

After several of the recipes that I wanted to do from the cookbook required long (ie 3 + hours) of marinating, I decided to go on foodnetwork.com to see if I could find something to do. I guess I had pork on the brain because I started looking for pork chop recipes. Rick is a big fan of pork chops, but we so rarely have them that I decided to make them for a change. The recipe that I found had a side dish of Cheese Potatoes Au Gratin which would kill two birds with one stone. I was drawn to the pork chop one because it allowed me to expand my pantry purchasing liquid crab and shrimp boil and Emeril's Bayou Blast. I've never purchased Emeril's Essence before, and I was out of Cajun seasoning so I thought I'd give it a try. It's a little bit more expensive than the larger containers of it, but I liked it. The pork chops did require some marinating time, but I shortened it to just shy of 2 hours, and they were still great! They were definitely a hit!

Emeril's Shake 'Em Up Pork Chops


  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons liquid concentrate crab and shrimp boil (recommended: Zatarain's)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 bone-in center-cut pork loin chops, about 12 ounces each
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup masa harina
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon Essence Bayou Blast
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the wine, 1/4 cup of the oil, the crab boil, pepper, cayenne, garlic, and bay leaf. Add the pork chops and marinate, refrigerated, turning occasionally, for 2 to 4 hours.

In a clean, large plastic bag, combine the bread crumbs, masa harina, Parmesan, and Essence. Shake to mix.

Remove the pork chops from the marinade and shake to remove any excess. One at a time, add the chops to the dry mixture and shake until evenly coated. Remove, place on a large plate, and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

In a large skillet or saute pan, heat the remaining 1/3 cup of oil over medium-high heat. Add the chops and cook until golden brown and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes per side.

Remove from the pan and serve immediately on top of portions of the Cheesy Potatoes au Gratin

Cheesy Potatoes au Gratin

2 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces Cheddar, grated
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a medium gratin dish with butter.

Cover the bottom of the pan with an overlapping layer of potatoes. Lightly season with salt and pepper and top with a sprinkling of cheese (about 2 tablespoons). Continue layering potatoes, seasoning, and cheese, ending with the remaining cheese on top. Pour the cream over the potatoes, pressing lightly with your hands to cover the potatoes with cream.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake until the cheese is absorbed into the potatoes and the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 50 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the mixture is bubbly and the top is golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before cutting into portions.

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