SOURCE: National Pork Board

July 05, 2012 05:00 ET

Change Up Summer Menus With Chops

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - Jul 5, 2012) - (Family Features) The most popular cut of pork, pork chops offer cooking convenience and meal ideas galore. However, according to the National Pork Board's new "However You Chop It?" survey, despite the variety and versatility of the pork chop, Americans limit themselves to the same type of chop and routine preparation methods.

It's easy to change up regular meal choices by swapping pork chops in place of other traditional proteins. Take world champion pitmaster Chris Lilly's Grilled Pork Parmesan, which calls for pork chops, rather than chicken in a classic Italian dish and cooks it on the charcoal grill for a new summertime favorite.

Whether you're trying this new recipe or sticking with an old stand-by, you can serve up the perfect chop every time by following these tasty tips from the National Pork Board:

  • Choose Your Cut: You have a choice in chops. Pork chops are cut from the portion of meat that runs from the pig's hip to shoulder, and can be found under a variety of names in the meat case, including loin, rib, sirloin, top loin and blade chops. Each choice is often featured in a variety of thicknesses, number of chops and, for some, with or without a bone. You may also find chops butterflied, cubed for kabobs or pre-stuffed. Try them all and match them to your favorite recipes.

  • Cook Your Chop: The most important thing to remember when dishing up the perfect chop is not to overcook the pork. Whether boneless or bone-in, the length of cooking time primarily depends on the thickness of the chop, which can vary from 1/2 inch to 2 inches. For juicy, flavorful and tender pork, chops should be grilled over direct, medium heat until the internal temperature reaches 145°F. Then, let rest for 3 minutes. A digital cooking thermometer is recommended to ensure perfect results every time.

For more pork tips and recipes, visit www.PorkBeInspired.com. Also, follow the National Pork Board on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PorkBeInspired, Twitter @AllAboutPork and on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/PorkBeInspired.

Grilled Pork Parmesan
Makes: 6 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 7 minutes

Dry Rub
4 1/2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 1/2 teaspoons onion salt
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons dried basil
1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 cups panko bread crumbs
6 boneless butterflied pork chops, cut thin, 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick
Prepared spaghetti noodles
Favorite pasta sauce

Build a charcoal fire for direct grilling and preheat to approximately 450˚F.

While grill preheats, combine dry rub ingredients in small bowl and mix well to create the Parmesan dry rub. In separate bowl, whisk eggs and stir in milk to create an egg wash.

On a large plate, make a bed of panko bread crumbs.

Season each pork chop heavily with Parmesan dry rub and press the seasoning into the pork chops. Then, dip each chop in the egg wash and cover both sides evenly with bread crumbs.

Grill chops directly over the hot coals for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes on each side, until internal temperature is 145˚F. Remove pork chops from grill and serve over a bed of spaghetti noodles and topped with your favorite pasta sauce.

Recipe created by world champion pitmaster Chris Lilly on behalf of Kingsford charcoal. For more, visit www.Grilling.com.

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