Saturday, August 23, 2014

Crispy Fried Pork Chop Bites

A cultural influence from around the world has helped make Southern food what it is today. Southern food is rooted in local and imported ingredients, necessity and frugality.

It began in Africa and Scotland, fried food. The Scots had a tradition of deep-frying food in fat. Scottish immigrants came to the South where African slaves had already introduced a tradition of frying food. Over time, deep-frying became a common way of cooking chicken and other food.

African ingredients like okra and black-eyed peas became a staple of the Southern diet, in addition to the homegrown green staples of collards, mustard, turnips and kale. Other highly used crops include pecans and peanuts, sweet potatoes and peaches.

The lakes, rivers, tidal pools and oceans served up oysters, shrimp, crawfish, crab and Mississippi catfish. Local game included opossum, rabbit and squirrel, the main ingredient of Brunswick Stew, which food historians say was popular in Virginia and Georgia.

Louisiana is where French and Spanish cuisines married local ingredients to create completely unique cuisines. Native Americans had long used file powder (powdered sassafras leaves) as a thickening ingredient, and it is a regular mainstay of Creole and Cajun cooking. Spanish rice based paella evolved into jambalaya, a rice dish with shrimp, oysters, chicken or ham. France's bouillabaisse was transformed into Cajun gumbo, with the help of a roux base (flour and pork fat) and okra.
Research Source: How Stuff Works

Fried pork chops are a must, especially in the South. After you have one bite you will know why.

Crispy Fried Pork Chop Bites
Copyrighted 2014, Christine’s Pantry. All rights reserved.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying
1 pound pork chops, boneless, cut into bite size pieces
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

In a skillet, heat oil over medium high heat.

In a dish, combine, flour, garlic powder, smoked paprika, onion power and seasoned salt. Set aside.

Cut pork chops into bite size pieces. Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Dredge pork chop bites in flour. Place pork bites in hot skillet; cook until no longer pink, about 3 minutes each side. Cook in batches. When cooked, remove from skillet and transfer to cooling rack (place paper towels under cooling rack). Enjoy!

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