“Shake then Bake”

As a child of the seventies, my husband grew up with all the conveniences of “modern food” that were being introduced at that time. Gourmet popcorn for the microwave, help for your hamburger meals, stuffing for your stove top and Mr and Mrs everything you can imagine. Also very popular and somewhat new (introduced in mid to late 60s) was the coating mix for your pork chops. 

It is this product that he stills requests at dinner time. Often.

As for me…since my mother was way ahead of the curve in terms of natural foods, I spent my childhood wondering about these mystery foods I saw on TV and who ate them.

Now-a-days I find myself creating my own coating mix more often than opening a box of his favorite. And guess what? He likes it just as much!

Standard breading technique and a few ingredients are all you need!

std breading technique

I used plain breadcrumbs mixed with grated parmesan cheese and Penzey’s Northwood seasoning to create the crispy outside coating. To make it stick, I first dredged the chops in plain flour and swiped it through a beaten egg before coating it in the crumb mix. If you really wanted to keep the dirty dishes down you could “shake” on the flour in a plastic bag and also do that with the crumb mixture. ( might be kinda messy to do that with the egg:-)

Just  line them up on a rack to allow the hot air to circulate and crisp all sides. ( I lined mine with sprayed foil for easy clean up) and bake at 375 in a pre-heated oven for 30-45 mins depending on the thickness of the chops.


You can’t even tell the difference between mine and the commercial product!

And no pork chop would be complete without some apple sauce!



Chasing JoJos

Still trying to recreate the mythical JoJos of my youth.

If you haven’t had or heard of JoJos – you can read my last posting about them here or if that is too much clicking here is a short review…

Potatoes, scrubbed but skin on, cut length-wise, quarters and maybe quarters again. Coated in a delicious crispy coating, crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside.

But these are not steak fries. They are JoJos – think “chicken fried potatoes.” Except the real ones are “broasted!”

But on this JoJo day I was inspired to make some crispy coated, oven-baked versions.

Mary was my husband’s uncle’s mother-in-law (better take a minute on that one) and she apparently made the best potatoes. One time last summer I actually had the pleasure of meeting her and of course I managed to work the topic into conversation and although no real recipe was given – I gleaned enough to get the idea that she was basically making an Italian oven-baked JoJo.

From what I could gather there was butter and lots of it. Some breadcrumbs. The seasoning – Italian blend in her case. And don’t “fahget the Paaaarmm Ma.” (That is Massachusetts vernacular for “don’t leave out the Parmesan cheese mom.”) And plenty of tossing and turning in the pan during cooking time.

So I blended up a mix of seasoned bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, some seasonings (mostly Italian in nature) that I annoyingly and uncharacteristically forgot to write down and tossed the raw potato wedges in hot melted butter before coating them in the breadcrumb mix and baking in a hot (400-425 degrees) oven. I tossed them carefully, several times, during cooking to ensure even crispy-ness and to make sure no butter got left behind in the pan. About a total of 30 mins +/- Basically until the thickest wedge is fork tender.

They were delicious!

Crispy and delicious, but definitely not "broasted!"

Crispy and delicious, but definitely not “broasted!”