Probably the thing I miss most in the winter is not being able to use my grill or smoker.
It’s not that I can’t use them exactly. They are operable. They can be turned on.
That’s why I love to find a barbeque recipe that can be made indoors. This one is an inexpensive, reduced fat version of breaded pork chops, with a BBQ bent.
Fried pork chops, chicken or chicken fried steak are some of my favorite things to eat, but unfortunately they are too high in fat to have very often, if at all. Usually once or twice a year at a family party is my limit.
But in this version, the pork chops are fried in only a very small amount of oil and most of the cooking is done in the oven. This is hardly a no-fat recipe, however, because potato chips and pancake mix is used in the breading, both of which are loaded with fat, plus the BBQ sauce is mostly high fructose corn syrup. So I won’t pretend this is health food.
Still, it’s a trade-off I’m willing to make in order to enjoy barbeque in the middle of winter. I served this with Rosemary Roasted Red Potatoes and steamed broccoli, and it was a delicious, wonderful mid-winter treat.
Barbeque Pork Chops
1 cup barbeque flavored potato chips (about 1 oz)
1/2 cup pancake mix
1 egg, beaten
2 TBS BBQ sauce
6 boneless pork loin chops 1/2 thick (about 1-1/2 lbs)
1 TBS vegetable oil or shortening
3/4 cup BBQ sauce
1. Place BBQ chips in 1 gallon plastic freezer bag and crush with rolling pin. Add pancake mix, seal bag and shake well.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and 2 TBS BBQ sauce. Dip pork chops into egg mixture, then place in bag and shake to coat with breading. I realize this is just like Shake & Bake, from the 1970s. You could just dredge the chops in the breading if you preferred. Me, I liked the irony.
3. Preheat oven to 375F. Put cast iron skillet on the fire. When hot, add oil. When smoking, add pork chops a couple at a time and fry on both sides until just golden brown. Set aside on sheet pan. When all pork is marked, place sheet pan in oven and bake 25 minutes. To plate, nap the chops with BBQ sauce, leaving most of the breading exposed.
Pork is still relatively inexpensive — the chops were about $2/lb — compared to beef, which has been insanely high lately, so this worked out to be a pretty inexpensive meal as well.
What do you do in the kitchen during winter to keep sane? Share your ideas in the comments section below. And thanks for looking at my blog!