I participated in the National Pork Board Porksgiving program as a member of One2One Network. I received compensation but all opinions are my own.
In the United States, Thanksgiving is that special day of the year when we gather with our families, break bread, and reflect upon the many things – and people – for which we are thankful. It is a wonderful time for us to also give back to those who have done so much for us.
To inspire people across the country to take the time to give and say thanks, the National Pork Board will celebrate “Porksgiving” – a time for giving back (with pork) to those who give back – from November 2 through the end of the year. After all, there’s no better way to show someone how much you appreciate them than with a home-cooked meal made with pork.
This year I have worked on a special dish to honor a very special person in my life- my mom. I know it may seem cliché, but she has done so much for me. And it is not only me who she does a lot for – she has been volunteering for about the last 14 years at a community free clinic providing nursing care to those who are uninsured. For the last several years, I have been volunteering there, too, and have seen first hand her gentle spirit and her compassion, asking for nothing in return.
About the special dish – instead of the typical meal this Thanksgiving, I created my version of Pork Cordon Bleu, which is a nod to pork schnitzel – a dish my parents would have enjoyed while they lived in Germany in the late ’80’s. But instead of a simple breaded pork cutlet, I wanted to enhance it by adding some ham and creamy Havarti cheese.
There are a few steps for making this elegant pork entree, but it is worth the little bit of effort. In under an hour, you can take 4 pork cutlets and turn them into a dinner to be thankful for.
This year, make sure you take the time to thank those who have done so much for you. Let them know how much you appreciate them. You don’t have to buy expensive gifts. Invite them over for a home cooked meal.
- 4 thick center-cut boneless pork chops
- 2 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 egg
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 4 slices thin ham, lunch meat works well
- 4 slices creamy Havarti cheese
- 4 Tablespoons honey Dijon mustard
- oil for frying
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Slice each pork chop in half as though to butterfly the meat, leaving the fatty end intact.
- Combine bread crumbs and salt in a shallow bowl and set aside.
- Beat egg and water in a shallow bowl and set aside.
- Place 1 slice of cheese on top of a slice of ham and top with 1 tablespoon of mustard. Stuff inside of pork chop and crimp edges of meat using your fingers.
- Dip in egg and coat with bread crumbs. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
- Fry each chop for 3-4 minutes until golden brown, flipping over half way. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 145 - 160 degrees.
- Allow to rest for 3 minutes before serving.
Note: The National Pork Board advises using the following temperatures when preparing pork: cook pork chops, roasts and tenderloin to an internal temperature between 145°F (medium rare) and 160°F (medium), followed by a three-minute rest. For ground pork, cook to an internal temperature of 160°F.
This season, take the time to say thanks to someone who gives back – whether it’s loved ones who make time for their local community, a neighbor in the military or a co-worker who volunteers. Whoever it is, show them your appreciation this Porksgiving by serving up a new pork recipe.
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. And for those of you making Pork Cordon Bleu or other pork inspired dishes – Happy Porksgiving!4