If bacon is the best thing that ever happened to the pig, then Bruce Feingold’s balsamic butterscotch onions have to be the second.
The chef-partner of Delray’s delightfully eclectic Dada (52 N. Swinton Ave., 561/330-3232) created this inventive porcine complement as a riff on his mother’s caramelized onions. Always served with pork chops and “always overcooked,” Feingold says. At Dada, they’re also paired with pork chops—here cooked moist and juicy—themselves a whimsical homage to another childhood culinary staple, Shake ’N Bake seasoned coating.
In its two years on the menu, Feingold’s Shake-N-Bake pork chops with balsamic butterscotch onions has become one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes, so much so that the chef wouldn’t dream of taking it off. It would almost be like banishing bacon.
Shake-n-Bake Pork Chops with Balsamic Butterscotch Onions
Courtesy of Bruce Feingold, chef-partner, Dada
8 5 oz. heritage pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
Sprinkling of Dada Meat Rub (recipe follows)
2 eggs, beaten
Flour and breadcrumbs
4 to 5 onions, diced
4 T. butter
3-1/2 T. J&B scotch
6 T. balsamic vinegar
3/4 brown sugar
1/2 cup + 3 T. heavy cream
1/2 t. vanilla extract
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in skillet, add brown sugar and mix until it gets the consistency of wet sand, then bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. When mixture is completely smooth add cream and simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavors. Add salt and pepper. Remove from heat and reserve.
Melt 2 tablespoons oil in another skillet and begin to caramelize the onions over medium-low heat. When onions start caramelizing, add the scotch, balsamic vinegar and vanilla extract and continue cooking until onions are soft and golden-brown and all liquid has been absorbed. Add caramelized onions to caramel mixture, stir to combine and cool. Reserve.
Dust pork chops with Meat Rub, then toss with flour, dip in beaten egg and coat with breadcrumbs.
Heat saute pan or cast iron skillet, add 2 tablespoons oil. Add pork chops and cook over medium heat, then flip chops and put skillet in low oven to finish cooking. Total time should be four to five minutes.
Reheat balsamic butterscotch onions and serve with pork chops, mashed potatoes and vegetable.
Dada Meat Rub
3 T. Lawry’s Seasoned Salt (w/o MSG)
3 T. garlic powder
1 T. black pepper
4 T. kosher salt
2 T. dried thyme
Mix all ingredients together and reserve, saving leftovers for another use.