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Volume 26

Dinner This Week: Crunchy Pork Chops

By Keith Dresser Published

This week’s menus include Crunchy Baked Pork Chops, Creamy Tomato Soup, and Shrimp Fra Diavolo for dinner in an hour or less.

Every week, Executive Food Editor Keith Dresser pairs each main dish with a side to give you a complete, satisfying dinner without the guesswork. Look for the game plan section to learn tips on how to streamline your kitchen work so dinner comes together quicker.

Dinner 1: Crunchy Baked Pork Chops with Celery Root and Potato Roesti

To get a thick coating on our Crunchy Baked Pork Chops, we make a quick batter by whisking flour into egg whites and mustard. Once the chops are coated in this glue-like mixture, they hold on to a flavorful blend of toasted bread crumbs, garlic, Parmesan, and herbs. Celery Root and Potato Roesti starts with raw shredded potatoes and celery root—not boiled, mashed vegetables as many recipes recommend.  This produces a moist cake with a thick, crisp crust and fresh potato and celery flavor. Cooking the roesti over moderate heat is important to ensure that the center will be tender by the time the crust has turned crisp and golden brown.

Printable Shopping ListsCrunchy Baked Pork Chops with Celery Root and Potato Roesti

Equipment Review Graters

A box grater has always been the go-to tool for shredding cheese and vegetables by hand. But given that most of us only ever use one side, shouldn’t there be something better?

Dinner 2: Creamy Tomato Soup with Grown-up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Our Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup is velvety smooth with a bright tomatoey taste—all without added cream. We start with canned tomatoes because they often have better flavor than supermarket tomatoes. Then, we blend in a surprise ingredient—a slice of white bread torn into pieces—to give the soup body without having to add flavor-deadening cream. Our Grown-Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Gruyère and Chives start with flavorful aged Gruyère to which we add small amounts of white wine and Brie. These ingredients help the aged cheese melt evenly without becoming greasy. A sprinkle of fresh chives increase the sandwiches’ complexity without detracting from the cheese, and a smear of mustard butter livens up the bread.

Printable Shopping ListsCreamless Creamy Tomato Soup with Grown-up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Equipment Review 12-Inch Nonstick Skillets

We demanded our contenders clear a slew of sticky hurdles.

Dinner 3: Shrimp Fra Diavolo with Romaine and Radicchio Salad

Shrimp Fra Diavolo is a lively and piquant dish with tangy tomatoes countering briny, plump shrimp, and pepper flakes and garlic providing a spirited kick. We boost the seafood flavor of the dish by first browning the shrimp shells and using them to make stock. This stock forms the basis of the sauce in which we poach the shrimp, leaving them plump and succulent. To finish, we add a bit more heat in the form of minced pepperoncini peppers; generous amounts of chopped parsley and basil contribute freshness. Our Romaine and Radicchio Salad with Figs and Pecorino uses a combination of romaine lettuce and bitter, crisp radicchio. Fresh figs contribute a necessary sweetness while toasted walnuts provide extra crunch. Salty, tangy shaved Pecorino Romano cheese adds richness that contrasts with the bitterness of the radicchio.

Printable Shopping Lists: Shrimp Fra Diavolo with Romaine and Radicchio Salad


To view more quick weeknight dinner ideas, check out the rest of the Dinner This Week series.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.