pork essentials: oven-baked spicy cutlets

ThePretentiousChef avatar
By Andy Anderson !
from Wichita, KS

Okay, here is the deal, I am home alone, not much happening on this lazy, cloudy, rainy Sunday afternoon. I did not wish to leave the house to get something for dinner, so that meant I needed to go on a hunting expedition. Halfway through my search in the walk-in, I spotted some nice pork tenderloins Back in the test kitchen… what to do with them? Well, I do not want egg-coated, Panko-crusted, deep-fried chops… Not on this chef's watch. I wanted oven-baked chops, sprinkled with some nice spices, and served with rice. So you ready... Let's get into the kitchen.

serves 2 - 3
prep time 1 Hr 30 Min
cook time 20 Min
method Bake

Ingredients For pork essentials: oven-baked spicy cutlets

  • 2 md
    boneless pork chops, or tenderloins, 1 inch (2.5cm) thick
  • 2 Tbsp
    paprika, sweet or hot, your choice
  • 1 Tbsp
    coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp
    white pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 tsp
    salt, kosher variety
  • 1 tsp
    dried thyme
  • 1 tsp
    mustard powder
  • 1 tsp
    dehydrated onions, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp
    ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp
    dried sage
  • 1/8 tsp
    cayenne pepper, or to taste

How To Make pork essentials: oven-baked spicy cutlets

  • 1
  • 2
    In the last 20 or so years, pork has become gradually leaner; even tender loin cuts can end up tasting dry and bland. However, a quick bath in a brine solution can go a long way to solving that problem Dissolve 1/4 cup salt into 4 cups, (1 quart) of water. Then, place the chops in a shallow dish and pour the brine solution over top. Let this sit for anywhere from 1/2 hour to 2 hours in the fridge before cooking. FYI: Make sure the water is nice and cold before adding the chops.
  • 3
    After the chops left the oven, I served them with this yummy sauce. https://www.justapinch.com/recipes/sauce-spread/other-sauce-spread/sauce-essentials-asian-style-bbq-sauce.html
  • 4
    Gather your Ingredients (mise en place).
  • 5
    Mix the rub ingredients together, and reserve.
  • 6
    If you used a brine solution, remove the chops from the brine, and pat with a paper towel.
  • 7
    Take a nice sharp knife, and cut each one of the chops in half, lengthwise, then take a meat mallet and, using the spikey side pound them to an even thickness. Sprinkle generously on both sides with the spice mix, and allow them to rest on the countertop for about 30 minutes.
  • 8
    Chef’s Note: Do not go too crazy with the mallet, we want cutlets, not shredded pork. With that said, this is a great way to take out your frustrations.
  • 9
    Place a rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 400f (205c).
  • 10
    Place the chops on a parchment-lined baking sheet, fitted with a wire rack, and sprinkle a bit more of the spice mixture over just the tops of the chops.
  • 11
    Place into the preheated oven, and cook until the chops are cooked through, about 18 – 20 minutes.
  • 12
  • So Yummy
    Serve while nice and hot with your favorite sides, and maybe a nice sauce. Enjoy.
  • 14
    Keep the faith, and keep cooking.