Pretzel Encrusted Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce

All I can say about this recipe is that Nate has put this in his top 5 favorite recipes and, holy moly, he’s right.  It has everything you could ask for…  Salty.  Sweet.  Savory.  Get in my life.

Pretzel Encrusted Pork Chops with Orange-Mustard Sauce
adapted from epicurious

2 boneless, center cut pork chops
4 Tablespoons egg white (2 eggs)
1 cup crushed pretzels
ΒΌ cup Italian bread crumbs
Garlic salt & pepper
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Balsamic glaze
1 cup fat free, plain Greek yogurt
ΒΌ cup Dijon mustard

1/8 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 orange

Using a vegetable peeler, peels thin slices of orange skin, going around the circumference of the orange.  Place orange peels in a small pot with water covering the peels by about an inch.  Boil, strain, and repeat two more times.  Return to the pot, add 1/3 cup of water and 1/8 cup of sugar.  Bring to a boil until all liquid has been absorbed.  Set aside.

Once again, Greek yogurt has saved the day!  Mix Greek yogurt (original recipe calls for heavy cream, but who needs that when you have magical Greek yogurt), Dijon mustard, and candied orange peels in a small pot.  Heat on medium-high, stirring occasionally.  Once it bubbles a bit, turn heat on low and simmer.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  In a small bowl, mix crushed pretzels and Italian bread crumbs.  (When you crust the pork chops, it will be easier if you set up little stations with a bowl of the pretzel mixture and a bowl of egg whites.)  Sprinkle garlic salt and pepper on each side of the pork chops.  Dip each chop in the egg whites and then the pretzel mixture.  Place both in the heated skillet and cook on each side for about 2-3 minutes (until the pink can no longer be seen on the outside).  Spray a small, glass cooking dish with cooking spray and transfer chops to dish.  Place in the oven and cooking for about 10 minutes.  Using a thermometer, make sure chops are at 140 degrees.

When serving, spoon mustard sauce on to the plate and place the pork chop on top.  Drizzle the balsamic glaze over it (Gia Russa, remember?) and garnish with your remaining candied orange peels.  Polenta makes the perfect side to those heavenly little pretzel encrusted medallions.