Mmm, crunchy fried pork skin! Pork rinds are a snack food made by cooking and smoking pieces of pork skin, and then deep frying them in lard. This frying process makes the pork skin puff up, giving it a crunchy airy texture.
Pork rinds are very popular among paleoistas and low-carb dieters because they are very high in protein, yet they don’t have sugar or carbs in them like chips and other common snacks do.
A single ounce of pork rinds contains 17 grams of protein. Again, they contain no sugar (or fiber), but they are quite high in sodium, with roughly 515 mg in a one-ounce serving. Pork rinds are also relatively low in cholesterol, containing about 27 mg per ounce (the USDA recommends limiting cholesterol to 300 mg per day).
You’ll generally find pork rinds in 2-ounce bags, so if you do choose to snack on these salty little items, make sure you practice self-control and moderation!
Before you run to the market for crunchy pork skin,
It’s time for your Trick:
For a tasty, gluten-free coating for chicken or fish, use crushed pork rinds in place of bread crumbs. They also make a good substitute for breadcrumbs in meatloaf and burger recipes.
Use pork rinds as vehicles to dip into salsa, hummus, and other favorite dishes normally requiring bread or chips!
And your Recipe:
Tuscan Pork Pockets
- 3 pounds boneless pork chops about 1/2 inch thick
- 1 large green onion chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes drained
- 1 1/2 cups grated Fontina cheese
- 4 tablespoons crushed pork rinds
- 2 tablespoons grainy mustard
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Cut a pocket horizontally in each of the pork chops. DO NOT CUT ALL THE WAY THROUGH: YOU’RE FORMING A POCKET.
- In a small bowl, combine green onion, sun-dried tomatoes, cheese, pork rinds and mustard; spoon a portion of this mixture into the pocket of each chop and secure the opening with a wooden toothpick.
- In a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat; add the chops; cover and cook for 5 minutes; turn, cover and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Turn again, spoon any remaining tomato mixture on top (it’s okay if you don’t have any left) and cook, uncovered, for 2 minutes, or until cooked through and the juices run clear.
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