Photo by Farideh Sadeghin
Prep time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 day
for the pork chops:
4 cups|1 liter buttermilk
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons smokey green hot sauce, preferably Toups
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
6 (¾-inch thick) cut bone-in heritage pork chops
for the squash pickles:
8 ounces|225 grams yellow squash, sliced into ⅛-inch thick rounds
1 cup|250 ml white wine vinegar (or white balsamic vinegar)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
½ teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
for the espresso aioli:
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large egg yolks
1 cup|250 ml vegetable oil
4 cups|485 grams plain dried breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 ½ teaspoons cayenne
1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
peanut oil, for frying
12 slices white bread
- Marinate the pork chops: Combine the buttermilk, salt, hot sauce, and black pepper in a large container, like a pot. Whisk until the salt dissolves, then add the pork chops until they’re submerged. Cover and refrigerate 24 hours.
- Make the squash pickles: Pack the sliced squash in a food-safe container, like a 1-quart Mason jar. Heat the vinegar, sugar, chili flakes (if using), curry powder, and salt with 1 cup|250 ml water in a small saucepan over high. Stir one good time when you put everything in the pot, and then leave it alone as the liquid comes to a boil. After it has boiled, pour the hot liquid over the squash. Let it cool down to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate. These will keep refrigerated and tightly covered for up to 2 weeks.
- Make the espresso aioli: Combine the mustard, vinegar, espresso powder, brown sugar, salt, and egg yolks in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times until all ingredients are mixed together, then, with motor running, very slowly drizzle in the first ½ cup|125 ml of oil; once the oil has emulsified, you can pour in the rest. The whole process should take about 30 seconds. (A lot of people go too slowly when making mayo, and the oil warms up and the mayo can break on you. Some cooks do this in a mixer with a whisk attachment, but I think that adds too much air. I like a thick mayo, not a light fluffy mayo. The aioli will keep, refrigerated, for up to 4 days.)
- Cook the pork chops: Remove the pork chops from marinade, removing excess marinade. Heat 3-inches of oil in a large saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°F.
- Mix the breadcrumbs, salt, cayenne, and black pepper in a large shallow container. Add the pork chops, coating them evenly. Working in batches, cook the chops, flipping once, until golden and a thermometer inserted reads 155°F, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- At Toups South, they’re served four to an order, held together with a big knife, and plated on a cutting board with the espresso aioli (inspired by David Chang), white bread, and the squash pickles.
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