Panko Crusted Pork Chop over a bed of Swiss Chard & Garlic Cream sauce, topped with Flambéed Shiitake Mushrooms:
This is my signature dish that I prepared for the judges on MasterChef Season 4. It’s a complete dish with tons of influence from different cultures: poached garlic, panko & shiitake, putting a flambé out with citrus… but is overall it’s a Modern American dish, that’ll leave you with a happy belly!
I’m not too fluent with writing recipes since I rarely use them, so bear with me here!

 


Recipe Breakdown

  • Time ( 45 Minutes )
  • Serves ( 2 People )
  • Difficulty ( 7/10 )

Equipment


  • Chef’s Knife

  • 1 Small Sauce Pan

  • 2 Medium Skillets, 1 will be flambéed in

  • 1 Large Skillet

  • 3 Bowls, Medium Sized

  • Tongs

  • Cooking Spoons


Ingredients

Poached Garlic Cream Sauce



  • 2 Cups of Olive Oil

  • 2 Cups of Heavy Cream

  • Cloves from 1 Large Head of Garlic, Poached in 2 Cups of Oil then Minced

  • Seasoned w/Salt & Pepper to Taste

  • 2 Tbsp of Corn Starch, for Slurry

  • 2 Tbsp Heavy Cream, for Slurry

Swiss Chard



  • 2 Large Bunches of Swiss Chard

  • 1/4 Cup of Olive Oil

  • Seasoned w/Salt & Pepper to Taste


    Pork Chop & Panko Crust



    • 2 Pork Chops, 1″ Thick, Bone In

    • 1 Cup of AP Flour, Seasoned w/Salt & Pepper to Taste

    • 1/2 Cup of Heavy Cream

    • 3 Eggs, Beaten

    • 1 Cup of Panko Bread Crumbs

    Flambéed Mushrooms



    • 8 Shitaki Mushrooms, Sliced

    • 2 Tbsp of Butter

    • 1/2 Cup of Brandy or Metaxa

    • 1 Lemon, Halfved

    Making the Garlic Cream Sauce



    • Clean and remove all cloves from one large head of garlic.

    • Add 2 cups of olive oil to a small sauce pan and begin heating over medium-medium high heat.

    • Add the garlic cloves and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the cloves are golden in color.

    • Strain the cloves, making sure to save the oil for pan frying the pork chops.

    • Finely mince the oil poached cloves.

    • Add the minced garlic back into the small sauce pan, adding 2 cups of heavy cream.

    • Simmer over medium heat, stirring continuously, until the sauce looks uniform in color, roughly 5-10 minutes.

    • Separately, in a small cup, combine the slurry ingredients, 2 tbsp of corn starch & 2 tbsp of heavy cream, mix until there are no clumps.

    • While the sauce is still simmering, slowly whisk in the slurry until the mixture is fully combined.

    • Continue to simmer the sauce until it has thickened slightly, roughly 1-3 minutes, during this time, add salt and pepper to taste.

    • Remove the sauce from the heat once the desired consistency is reached. The sauce should coat the back of a spoon.

    • Note: If you want the sauce thicker, continue to simmer for another 1-3 minutes OR add another corn starch slurry.


    Sautéing the Swiss Chard



    • Clean the swiss chard by holding the thickest part of the stalk and pulling the leaves upward, away from the stalk, discard thick stalks.

    • Roughly chop the swiss chard, keeping in mind that greens wilt & shrink in size once cooked.

    • Heat 1/4 cup of the garlic infused oil in a large skillet.

    • Add swiss chard and sauté until wilted, roughly 5-15 min depending on the freshness of the swiss chard.

    • Add salt and pepper to taste then remove from heat.


    Pan Frying the Pork Chop



    • Mildly French cut the pork chop, removing most of the meat and fat around the top 1-2″ of the bone.

    • Assemble your 3 part breading station, 1st bowl: seasoned AP flour, 2nd bowl: 3 eggs beaten and 1/2 cup of heavy cream, 3rd bowl: 1 cup of panko bread crumbs.

    • Pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel, this will help the breading stick to the pork chop.

    • Dredge the pork chop in the flour mixture, making sure to completely cover the pork chop. Shake off the excess.

    • Next, dredge the pork chop in the egg mixture, again making sure to completely cover the pork chop. Shake off the excess.

    • Finally, dredge the pork chop in the panko bread crumbs. You may want to pat the panko breadcrumbs on the pork chop to ensure adhesion. Shake off the excess.

    • Add the garlic infused oil into a medium skillet, filling it about 1/2″ up, or 1/2 of the thickness of your pork chop.

    • Heat the oil over medium high heat until the oil starts to glisten, just before the smoke point.

    • Add both pork chops to the skillet. Make sure not to drop them in the oil, but to lay them down gently and away from you, so they don’t splash any hot oil.

    • Pan fry the pork chops 5-6 minutes per side, or until the crust is golden brown. It may be necessary to adjust the heat.

    • Note: The thinner the pork chop, the faster it’ll cook. I like a nice rare to medium rare pork chop, that’s all white inside with just the slightest tint of pink in the very center. This method should make a super moist & delicious pork chop.


    Flambéing the Mushrooms



    • After cleaning the mushrooms, slice the mushroom caps into long thin strips.

    • Melt 2 tbsp of butter in medium skillet over medium-medium high heat.

    • Once the butter is melted, add the mushrooms and sauté 3-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the mushrooms.

    • Just before the mushrooms are fully cooked, remove skillet from the burner.

    • Deglaze the skillet by adding 1/2 cup of brandy or metaxa. Get ready, here comes the fire!

    • Return the skillet to the burner and flambé by igniting the liquor with the burner flame or with a grill lighter.

    • Once the flame has lit, continually agitate the skillet, making sure to burn off most of the alcohol.

    • When the flames start to dwindle, turn off the burner and put them out fully by squeezing the juice from half a lemon over the skillet.


    Time Management Tips



    • Since the oil poached garlic takes a while, put the oil on the burner while cleaning the head of garlic. Once the cloves are cleaned, the oil should be ready to start poaching.

    • While the garlic is poaching, do some prep work: clean the swiss chard, French your pork chop and setup the breading station.

    • Once the garlic is done poaching, mince the cloves and start on the garlic cream sauce.

    • As the garlic cream sauce is simmering, bread the pork chops and slice the mushrooms.

    • You want to be finishing the pork chops just as you start to flambé.

    • I’ve made this dish tons of times and can make it in about 20 minutes, but do what’s comfortable for you. If you’re not too skilled, don’t multitask too much, focus on cooking each ingredient to perfection, you can always heat items back up.

    • Read the recipe over a few times. Think about what takes the longest to cook and plan accordingly. If you stage properly, everything will be the perfect temperature as it get plated.


    Plating the Dish



    • Spoon some of the garlic cream sauce in the center of the plate. Be generous, this is good stuff!

    • Next, add some swiss chard with your tongs. Try to build a tall pile in the center of the plate, with the sauce holding it all in place.

    • Add a pork chop directly on top of the swiss chard. This will compress the swiss chard and cream sauce slightly and your dish will almost be complete.

    • With your tongs, add some mushrooms on top of the pork chop, continuing this beautifully stacked dish.

    • Finally, spoon a little bit of the garlic cream sauce on the top and squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the top.




     

    Enjoy!