Today sucks. I’ll say it. Today really sucks. He-who-shall-not-be-named is being sworn into the White House, and I’m thankful that I have back-to-back video shoots to go on today so that I won’t have to look at televisions all day and see it happen. Nobody deserves the inevitable destruction this man is about to reign upon so many people. Just take a look at all of the important programs he’s already planning to cut. Violence Against Women Grants? Really, dude? The Minority Business Development Agency? Seriously? What’s your deal? The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and so many other programs committed to helping stop climate change? Do you hate the planet (answer: apparently, yes)? Ugh. It makes me sick. If you follow me, you probably feel the same way at this point, because I sure as shit haven’t been particularly quiet about my opinions on this matter, so I urge you, please do not tune into the inauguration. Please don’t add to the ratings. If you are marching or protesting this weekend, you’re a sweet baby angel and then you so much for your hard work. I know it’s going to be cold and crowded, but you’re doing something to show that we’re not going to sit back and do nothing during this presidency. If you can afford to do it, please join me in donating $20 to Planned Parenthood today. I already donate a small amount monthly, but if you are fortunate enough to be able to do give an extra $20 today, together, we can make a big difference. In a similar fashion, if you’d rather, the Southern Poverty Law Center is another excellent place to give your dollars if you can. Donate, volunteer, spread knowledge, be strong. Go out and have a strong drink or a piece of pie tonight. You deserve it. The next four years are going to be tough, but remember that midterms elections are in 2018 and your vote counts now more than ever before. Thanks for all you guys do. I know we’ll make a change.
My happy place is cooking, as you all know, and in particular, lately, it’s cooking from Anthony Bourdain’s most recent cookbook, Appetites. I’ve made at least five things from it so far, all of which have been phenomenal, and I’ve read it cover-to-cover. I even plan to get a tattoo of some of the artwork from the book at some point. That’s how much I love it. The book covers simple, straight-forward recipes that you can easily put together and readily make substitutions as necessary, if needed. It’s great, simply put. I recommend it to all of my friends. These pork chops are no different. They are incredibly flavorful, crispy as all hell, and are as wonderful between two simple pieces of white bread as they are atop a bunch of cooked greens. We ate them both ways. The five-spice and two kinds of vinegar are really what do it for me here, as well as pounding out the pork chops extra-thin so that you get the perfect ratio of meat to breading. If you need some comfort food this weekend, don’t worry. Tony’s got you.
Pound those suckers out nice and thin, then marinate. I highly suggest doing this overnight.
Once they’re breaded, it’s time to fry, my pretties, fry.
That’s it. These are mind-numbingly good. For real. Serve with beer.
- 4 boneless pork chop cutlets (about 6 ounces each)
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup Chinese rice wine vinegar
- ¼ cup black vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon five-spice powder
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups panko bread crumbs
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- a few turns of freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups peanut or canola oil, for frying (plus more as needed)
- chili paste, for serving
- toasted white bread, for serving (if desired)
- Place the chops between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound them out to about ¼-inch thickness using a rolling pin (or forgo the plastic and use a meat mallet, if you have one). Place the pork chops in a sealable plastic bag.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, black vinegar, sesame oil, five-spice powder, and sugar. Pour the mixture over your pork chops, turning them over to make sure they're coated well, then press as much air out of the bag as you can and seal. Refrigerate for at least one hour, but it's best to leave them overnight.
- When ready to fry, remove the pork from the marinade and brush off the garlic (it will just burn). Beat the egg in a shallow dish with about a tablespoon of water, and place the flour and bread crumbs in separate shallow dishes (I like to use pie pans for this).
- In a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan (like a cast iron pan), add your oil and heat to medium-high. The best way to test this is to take a pinch of bread crumbs and add them to the oil. If they sizzle immediately, your oil is ready.
- While the oil heats up, dredge the pork chops in the flour, shaking off any extra, then dip them in the egg, then into the panko. Add to the frying pan and cook for about 5 minutes per side, until golden brown (be sure to turn them carefully). Remove the cooked pork chops from the oil and let them drain on a paper towel-lined plate or sheet pan for a minute or so. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and crushed red pepper flakes, for presentation, mostly, if you like.
- To serve, place the pork chops between two slices of toasted white bread with some chili paste. This is obviously the most delicious way to enjoy these pork chops, but if you're trying to cut back on the carbs a bit, they are still totally mind-blowing on top of a salad or alongside some stir-fried greens.