Add all the brine ingredients to a saucepan, bring up to a simmer, and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes.
Chef’s Note: I have two kinds of brine for pork chops: One is a very sweet apple/maple syrup kind of brine. The other is a ripping tangy brine that hits you at the back of the throat. This is my tangy brine.
Place the brine in the refrigerator until completely cool, about 1 hour.
Place the brine, and the pork chops into a Ziploc bag and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Chef’s Note: Because of the acidic nature of this brine, take them out after 2 hours.
THE PORK CHOPS
Gather your ingredients.
Remove the pork chops from the brine, rinse thoroughly and discard the brine.
Pat the pork chops completely dry with a paper towel, and allow to rest.
Meanwhile, add the breadcrumbs, parmesan, cayenne, black pepper, and salt to a bowl and mix thoroughly.
Spread the breadcrumb mixture on a large plate.
Place a rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 365f (185c).
Brush the top and sides of the pork chops with the olive oil.
Press the oiled side of the pork chop into the breadcrumb mixture.
Using your hands, press the mixture onto the sides of each pork chop.
Turn breaded side up, and place on a baking sheet fitted with a piece of parchment paper.
Chef’s Note: Repeat for the other pork chop.
Chef's Tip: We are not breading the other side of the pork chop for two reasons: One, it's difficult to brown the bottom side of a pork chop in the oven, and Two, we're placing this pork chop on a bed of creamy onions, and that would only turn the breading into a gooey mess.
Place the pork chops in the preheated oven, and bake for 40 to 50 minutes.
Chef’s Note: The best way to tell if your chops are cooked through is to use an instant-read thermometer. The internal temperature should register 160f (71c).
THE CREAMY ONIONS
While the pork chops are baking, gather your ingredients.
Chef’s Note: This type of onion recipe typically calls for the use of pearl onions; however, I thought I would mix it up by using a nice big yellow onion.
Cut the onion in half, pole to pole.
Cut the two halves into thick half-moon slices.
Place the butter, and olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-low heat.
When the foaming subsides add the onions.
Chef’s Tip: Add a pinch of salt, to get the process started.
Sauté the onions until they soften and begin to brown, about 30 minutes.
Chef’s Tip: When it comes to browning these onions; low and slow is the way to go.
Whisk the tablespoon of all-purpose flour in with the whipping cream.
Add the cream/flour mixture to the onions, and reduce the heat to low.
Continue to stir as the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.
Add the Parmesan cheese and mix to combine.
Add the creamy onions to a serving plate.
Top with one of the baked pork chops, and maybe a garnish of apples. Enjoy.