Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Italian Buttermilk Chops

Powdered buttermilk is my new best friend. The brand that I buy is from saco foods. I don't have any particular brand loyalty. This is just the brand that good old Meijers carries. Before I heard about powdered buttermilk, I'd always cringe when I saw there was a recipe that required that particular ingredient. Most recipes that call for buttermilk only require about a cup. So what do you do with the leftover stuff? You either have to plan out another recipe that uses the leftover buttermilk, or toss it out because it spoiled.

The powdered buttermilk wasn't the cheapest thing ever. If you are an infrequent user of buttermilk, like me, it winds up costing the same or less because you aren't throwing your money away.

Yeah, I know you can make your own buttermilk with a cup of regular milk and a Tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. I tried that once with vinegar. The milk was supposed to curdle after a few minutes. It didn't after 20. The milk smelled so vinegary that I decided to forget about the whole thing. It may work for some people, but not me.

I've used the powdered stuff a few times now and I can't tell the difference. Ultimately that's all that matters.
These Italian Buttermilk Pork Chops, from What's Cookin Chicago, were awesome. Maybe I've been living under a rock, but I'd never heard of marinating anything in buttermilk. These chops turned out really moist and tender.

I flubbed up and forgot to add the garlic to the marinade. Mrblocko was in charge of the actual meat cooking so I had him toss in the minced garlic to the pan while he was cooking up the meat. The meat wasn't infused with garlic flavor like it would have if it had been soaking in it all day. The bits of garlic were still tasty on top of the meat.

Our chops were the thin boneless kind. I thought they would get dried out if they were baked in the oven, so Mrblocko just cooked them all the way in the pan for around 10 minutes. I don't know cause I was making rice and a salad. I really wasn't paying attention.

Blockette said we should make these again because pigs are great. She's right on both accounts. We'll be making this again, and pigs are great.

Italian Buttermilk Chops from What's Cookin Chicago
4 pork chops
salt & pepper to taste
1 1/2 - 2 cups buttermilk
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
2-3 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil

Season your pork chops with salt and pepper; place chops in a gallon sized zip top bag. Add the remaining ingredients and place in the fridge for 4 hours to chill (or you could chill overnight too.) Remove the pork chops from the bag and pat dry. Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a hot skillet with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, brown your pork chops on both sides. Once browned, place the pork chops on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 7-10 minutes. Don't over cook otherwise it will result in dry, tough pork!

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