22 saltine crackers, finely crushed
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp.flour
1 tsp. salt, divided, plus more for seasoning
3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided, plus more for seasoning
3/4 tsp. Emeril's Original Essence
3/4 tsp. baking powder
2 large eggs
3 cups plus 1/3 cup whole milk
8 boneless breakfast pork chops (small, thin cuts, about 1/4-inch thick each)
2 to 2 1/2 cups vegetable oil
Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes, recipe follows
In a shallow bowl combine the crushed crackers, 3/4 cup of flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, Essence, and baking powder.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together the eggs and 1/3 cup of milk. Season pork chops lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper on both sides. Dust pork chops, one at a time, with the cracker-flour mixture and then dip in the egg mixture. Dredge pork chops with the cracker-flour mixture a second time, pressing to coat, and shaking off any excess flour.
Heat the oil to 375 degrees F in a large skillet with 2-inch deep sides. (The oil should be about 1/4-inch deep.) Add the pork chops to the preheated oil, being careful not to over-crowd the pan. Pan-fry the chops for 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Turn the pork chops and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Place the pork chops on a paper towel-lined plate and keep warm while you make the gravy. Carefully discard most of the oil from the pork chops, reserving 2 tablespoons plus any browned bits in the bottom of the skillet. Heat the oil over medium-low and add the remaining 2 tbsp. of the flour to the oil, stirring constantly to keep from burning, about 2 minutes. In a slow, steady stream, add the remaining 3 cups of milk, 1/2 cup at a time, whisking continuously. Bring the gravy mixture to a simmer, and cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Season the gravy with the remaining 1/2 tsp. of salt and remaining 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately over chicken fried pork chops and buttermilk mashed potatoes.
Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes:
2 pounds peeled Idaho potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
Place the potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water by 1-inch. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are fork tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain potatoes in a colander.
Return the potatoes to the cooking pot, Mash potatoes and cook on high to evaporate the water from the potatoes. Then add the buttermilk, melted butter, salt, and black pepper. Mash with a potato masher or heavy fork until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper, to taste. If necessary, place potatoes in an ovenproof dish and cover with aluminum foil, place mashed potatoes in a low (275 degree F) oven to keep warm until ready to serve with the pork chops.