Buttermilk “Fried” Pork Chops

I have learned so much about cooking by watching Sara Moulton, particularly when she had a live cooking show many years ago. I’ve just started watching her PBS series and I’m thrilled. I have to watch a lot of episodes from previous seasons to catch up! 🙂

She cooked this dish on the show with her son who is reportedly obsessed with making it. We absolutely loved it too- it’s a wonderful weeknight dish. I made the “warm weather” version, serving it over salad dressed with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing, but plan to try the “cool weather” version as well, serving it over sautéed apples and cabbage with butternut squash or sweet potato purée.

This recipe was adapted from Sara Moulton.com. I used larger pork chops, used basil, thyme and cilantro in the dressing and topping, and modified the method. I served it with roasted potatoes on the side for my starch-loving husband.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

For the Pork Chops:

  • four 1 inch-thick boneless pork chops
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 1 t Tabasco or Chipotle Tabasco
  • Kosher Salt
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 2 to 2 1/2 c panko bread crumbs
  • 6 to 8 T extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 T fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, cilantro, and/or basil
  • lemon wedges, for serving, optional
  • Warm Weather Version: green salad with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing, for serving (dressing recipe below)
  • Cool Weather Version: sautéed apples and cabbage, for serving
  • Cool Weather Version: butternut squash or sweet potato purée, for serving

For the Buttermilk Ranch Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup regular or low-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 T rinsed, dried, and chopped fresh mixed herbs (tarragon, chives, parsley, thyme, basil, cilantro)
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced or pushed through a garlic press
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

To Prepare the Pork Chops:

  1. If time permits, freeze the pork chops for 30 minutes to make them easier to cut.
  2. Carefully cut each horizontally to make 2 thin chops for a total of 8 chops.
  3. Place the meat on a cutting board between 2 layers of plastic wrap.  (Alternatively, sprinkle a small amount of water into a large resealable plastic bag.  Place a pork chop in the bag and close, leaving 1/2 inch open.) Pound with a rolling pin or meat pounder until the chop is about 1/8 inch thick; remove and set aside. Repeat with the remaining chops.
  4. Whisk together buttermilk, Tabasco, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a measuring cup; press in the garlic. Transfer to a large resealable plastic bag.
  5. Place the pounded chops in the bag with buttermilk mixture, one at a time making sure each one is coated, and marinate at room temperature, turning several times, for 30 minutes.
  6. Spread out the bread crumbs in a pie plate.
  7. Remove the chops from the marinade and season them with salt.
  8. Working with one chop at a time, toss the chop in the bread crumbs; shake off the excess crumbs.
  9. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large stainless steel, cast iron, or non-stick skillet over medium heat until hot; add half the chops. (I used a 14″ skillet over scant medium heat. Next time I will try a cast iron skillet to ease the clean up!)
  10. Sauté them, turning once for 3 minutes per side, or until golden and just cooked through. Remove to a plate and keep warm.
  11. Repeat with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and the remaining chops, adding more oil if necessary.
  12. Chop the herbs for the topping. (I used cilantro and basil.)

To Serve:

  1. Divide the pork chops among dinner plates, top each portion with come chopped herbs, and serve with a wedge of lemon. Alternatively, serve the pork chops over the dressed green salad.

To Make the Buttermilk Ranch Dressing:

  1. Whisk together all ingredients in a measuring cup.
  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Chill until ready to serve.

Note: These pork chops are delicious hot, at room temperature, or even chilled.

Creamy Buttermilk Dressing

This recipe uses a combination of full-fat cottage cheese pureed with buttermilk to get its creaminess instead of using mayonnaise. It was fresh and tasty. This dressing would work well with one of my favorite quick and light summertime meals of grilled chicken sliced over a cold salad. I made it when I was receiving an exorbitant amount of lettuce varieties in my CSA share. 😉

The recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by chef Eli Dahlin of Dame in Portland, Oregon. I used fresh CSA parsley instead of tarragon. I also increased the amount of minced shallots.

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese (4% milk fat)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 small shallot
, minced
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped tarragon or parsley
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium head of red leaf lettuce, torn
  • 2 heads of Boston lettuce, torn (or any other combination of lettuce)
  • sliced or cut tomatoes, cucumber, red bell pepper, avocado, or other vegetables, for topping, as desired
  • crumbled feta cheese, for topping, optional
  1. In a blender, puree the buttermilk with the cottage cheese, vinegar, Dijon and 
shallot until smooth.
  2. Scrape the dressing into a small bowl or jar and stir (or shake) in the chopped herbs; season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. In a serving bowl, toss the lettuces with some of the dressing and assorted toppings.

Note: The dressing can be refrigerated overnight.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Three Years Ago:

Four Years Ago:

Thai Pork Tenderloin Salad with Napa Cabbage

I received the most beautiful Napa cabbage in my CSA share this week. The leaves are so tender, and yet crunchy, they are absolutely perfect for a salad. This dish caught my eye because it was so colorful, bright with flavor, healthy, and a little bit “out of the box” for me.

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I am bringing it to share at Fiesta Friday #88, co-hosted by Julie @ Hostess at Heart and Liz @ Spades, Spatulas, & Spoons. Happy October!

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


For the Marinade & Dressing:

  • 1 ½ to 2 pounds boneless pork tenderloin (usually 2 tenderloins)
  • â…” cup minced shallots (about 4 shallots)
  • â…” cup chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 5 tablespoons light brown sugar, separated
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced in a garlic press
  • 5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 5 tablespoons peanut or grapeseed oil
  • Juice and zest of 4 limes
  • 3-inch piece peeled ginger root, grated
  • 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt, more to taste
  • 1 to 2 Thai bird, serrano or jalapeño chile peppers, seeded and minced


For the Salad:

  • 8 cups Napa or regular cabbage, thinly sliced (about 1/2 of a large head)
  • 5 whole scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 small Kirby or Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ cups cilantro leaves
  • 1 ½ cups mint leaves (I omitted the mint)
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1 ¼ cups roasted cashews or peanuts, toasted and chopped
  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut chips or large flakes, toasted, optional

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine shallot, cilantro, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, garlic, soy sauce, peanut or grapeseed oil, lime zest and juice, grated ginger, fish sauce, salt and chile. Pulse to mince the shallots, cilantro, garlic, and chiles- as well as to combine the mixture.
  2. Remove three-quarters of the mixture; reserve to use as the dressing. Add the remaining 3 T sugar and purée until a smooth, loose paste forms. This is the marinade.
  3. Pat the pork dry with a paper towel. Place tenderloin in a large bowl and spread the paste all over pork. Marinate at room temperature for 2 hours, or cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours; turn the tenderloin occasionally. (I marinated the meat for 12 hours in the refrigerator.)
  4. Light the grill or heat the broiler and arrange a rack at least 4 inches from the heat. (Mine was about 6 inches away.) Grill or broil pork, turning occasionally, until well browned and meat reaches an internal temperature of 135 degrees, 4 to 10 minutes per side depending upon the heat of your broiler or grill. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t overcook. Let meat rest while you prepare the salad. (Or, cook the pork 1 or 2 hours ahead and serve it at room temperature.)
  5. In a large bowl, combine the salad ingredients, reserving the herbs, cashews and coconut. (I omitted the coconut.)
  6. Whisk the dressing and use just enough to dress the salad, tossing to combine. Let sit for a few minutes for the flavors to meld, then right before serving, add herbs and toss again.
  7. To serve, slice the pork. Arrange salad on a platter or serving plates and top with sliced pork. Scatter cashews and coconut on top, drizzle with a little more of the remaining dressing, to taste, if desired.

Two Years Ago:

Three Years Ago:

Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing

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My husband has a new favorite salad dressing! 🙂 I have made caesar salad dressing in the past but have stayed away from using a raw egg. What a difference it made to finally use one! This dressing is fabulous. We ate it on our beautiful CSA romaine and baby red salad kale. I topped the greens with finely grated Parmesan cheese and Trader Joe’s whole wheat Tuscan Pane transformed into rustic croutons.

This dressing was adapted from a Food and Wine “staff favorite” recipe, contributed by April Bloomfield and her book A Girl and Her Pig. The original recipe suggests serving it over Little Gem Lettuce or with grilled chicken – both sound wonderful as well. GREAT!

IMG_4105

  • 1/2 pound day-old rustic Italian bread, crusts discarded and bread torn into bite-size pieces (I used whole wheat Tuscan Pane from Trader Joe’s)
  • 10 anchovy fillets, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus finely shredded cheese, for serving
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 18 ounces Romaine, Baby Red Salad Kale, and/or Little Gem lettuce, leaves separated and chilled
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Spread the bread pieces on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, until golden and crisp; let the croutons cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the 10 anchovy fillets with the vinegar, mustard and garlic and puree until smooth. Add the egg and pulse until just incorporated. With the machine on, gradually drizzle in the vegetable oil until emulsified. Scrape the dressing into a bowl and stir in the 1/3 cup of grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the dressing with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled and thickened, at least 30 minutes.
  3. In a very large bowl, toss the chilled lettuce leaves with half of the dressing, gently rubbing the dressing onto the leaves with your hands. (Save the remaining dressing for another salad or to serve with grilled chicken.) Arrange the dressed lettuce on a platter and scatter the croutons on top. Garnish with anchovy fillets, if desired, and serve right away, topping with or passing shredded Parmigiano cheese at the table.
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Creamy Garlic, Parsley, & Feta Salad Dressing

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I have FOUR absolutely gorgeous heads of lettuce from my CSA share….. I am going to be eating salad for lunch and dinner this week! I decided that I needed to make these salads a little more exciting, so I tried a new dressing. 🙂 This recipe was adapted from the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, via Martha Stewart Living. I added 4 cloves of garlic, but the intensity of the dressing could easily be modified by adding less. This dressing was wonderful and also healthy because of the use of Greek yogurt instead of sour cream or mayonnaise to add creaminess. It is similar to a green goddess dressing.

  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic, or to taste (2-4 medium garlic cloves)
  • 2/3 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1-2 lemons)
  • 1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled (3 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  1. Puree parsley, water, and garlic in a food processor or blender until smooth, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, and blend until just combined. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 1 week.

Ice Box Buttermilk Salad Dressing

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We have mustard vinaigrette on our salad VERY OFTEN but my husband is actually a creamy salad dressing kind of guy. This is his favorite dressing. I usually make it in the summer when I have all sorts of fresh herbs available. It is really flavorful- and creamy. This recipe was adapted from Back to the Table: The Reunion of Food and Family by Art Smith.

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 T grainy mustard (I use whole grain dijon mustard)
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • 2 T rinsed capers
  • 2 T shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp fresh basil
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley or tarragon
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt and sriracha hot sauce, to taste
  1. Place capers, shallots, and herbs in a food processor. Process to a fine mince.
  2. Add all other ingredients and process to combine.
  3. Store in a jar and shake well to blend before serving.

Note: The dressing can be prepared up to 1 week ahead, covered, and refrigerated.

Warm Lentil Salad with Seared Tuna & Fresh Herb Vinaigrette

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This was a wonderful dinner salad to serve using my abundance of CSA salad greens. The herb vinaigrette was terrific. My son wanted seconds of the lentils!! 🙂 I believe that the original source for this recipe was the Chicago Tribune (I have had the recipe for a LONG time). I used brown lentils, red and green romaine lettuce, radicchio, and parsley with a little bit of basil in the vinaigrette. A healthy and quick dinner.

Serves: 3 to 4 as a main course

  • 1 cup lentils, preferably French green lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 1/2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 T chopped fresh parsley and basil (or mint, if desired)
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound fresh tuna
  • 6 ounces mixed salad greens
  1. Combine lentils, bay leaf and water in a medium saucepan. Add 1 1/2 tsp of the salt; heat to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer until lentils are barely tender, 20-25 minutes. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, chop and combine the shallot, herbs, vinegar, 1/2 tsp salt, and pepper to taste in a mini-food processor. Add the olive oil and combine. Set aside.
  3. Combine the remaining salt with about 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper. Season tuna on both sides with this mixture.
  4. Place a non-stick grill pan or lightly oiled skillet over high heat. Sear tuna about 2 minutes (or less) on each side. Transfer to a warmed plate.
  5. Toss the greens with about 1 tablespoon of vinaigrette. Combine drained lentils with remaining vinaigrette.
  6. Portion greens among 3-4 serving plates; pile the lentils on top. Slice tuna into thin strips; fan out over the lentils.

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