August 17, 2022

Crunchy, Spicy Jalapeno and Cheese smothered crispy pork chops (using jalapeno potato chips to bread pork chops)

This was a post meant to be posted over a month ago but I've never had the time.  It's similar to a recipe I've posted before and make often, but this time I took it up a notch because I had foods I wanted to 'use up' - as never waste food in our household.  I always find things to make with it or use it in.

In this case, I had leftover spicy jalapeno potato chips from the family reunion weekend we held at our home.  (This brand is much spicer/hotter than Kettle brand, Miss Vickies or any of the regular run-of-the-mill jalapeno flavored potato chips, which I thought would work great as a crispy breading for chicken or pork.) I also had a jar of leftover homemade salsa to use up from the same weekend, which is what I always use to marinate the pork or chicken when I make this dish - so a win either way!

Crunchy and Spicy Jalapeno and Cheese Smothered Pork Chops or Chicken Breasts

Pork Chops or Boneless Chicken Breasts
Salsa to marinate
Jalapeno Potato Chips
Sliced Cheddar Cheese 
salt and pepper
cream cheese
diced or sliced jalapeno peppers
cooked, crumbled bacon
onion powder
garlic powder

AMOUNTS will vary based on how many pieces you are making and how spicy you like your food.  The amounts don't need to be precise.

Marinate your pork/chicken in about 2-3T salsa per piece for at least 3-4 hours and up to 24 hours. Flip it a couple times during the marinating so it's evenly marinated.  *If you are making this last minute and didn't have time to marinate, just coat your chicken/pork with it and leave it on under the breading/coating.

Lay the pork chops or chicken you wish to use in a thin layer of olive oil - both sides - and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper if you wish, then press both sides with crushed potato chips.  Lay them on well oiled (and foil lined if you like easy clean up) pan.

Bake in a hot oven (350 or 375 is fine) for about 25-35 minutes until done and golden brown.  The thickness of your pork or chicken determines how long it will take as thick cuts will take longer than a thin cut.  While this is baking, make the cheese topping.

The amounts of the cheeses, bacon and jalapeno are up to you and your tastes.  If you don't like spicy foods or have children eating that are not used to spice, cut back on the jalapenos or just use a small can of diced chili peppers (they are mild).  

We use about 6 ounces cream cheese,  and either a slice of cheddar on the pork/chicken OR mix in 1/3 cup cheddar, 1/4 cup diced jalapenos, 1/4 c cooked, crumbled bacon (I just grabbed some of the Hormel real bacon bits I keep in the freezer at all times).  Add about 1/4 t garlic powder and 1/4 t onion powder. 

Remove the pork chops, topped with a slice of cheddar, dollop of the cream cheese/jalapeno/bacon mixture and back into the oven to bake just until it's all melted and heated through.   We served them in these photos with zucchini.


 PHOTOS OF THE PROCESS followed by LINKS to the CUISINART mini stick blender and food chopper I use, a the bottom of the post.


Leftover chips from our family reunion weekend I wanted to use up

Chopped quickly in a small processor


I used my mini Cuisinart processor to crush the chips but you can use a full sized food processor or even a bag and a rolling pin to crush them if you wish. 

Ready to use as a crispy breading

Leftover fresh, homemade salsa smothered the pork chops before breading

I left the salsa on nice and thick since they had had a short marinade time

Ready for the oven on well oiled foil

Baked until done and now ready for the cheesy topping

Mixing cream cheese, jalapenos, bacon crumbles with a bit of garlic and onion powders

I had sliced cheese to use up this way but normally just mix shredded cheddar in.

Hot and melted from the oven - ready to serve with green beans, zucchini or any vegetable

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