Nabisco introduced the Ritz Cracker in 1934. Looking to compete with a similar cracker made by their competitor, Sunshine Biscuits, they tasked an employee, Sydney Stern, to create a name and advertising plan. Stern created the name Ritz, which appealed to individuals suffering in the Great Depression, offering them “a bite of the good life”. He also created the blue circle/yellow lettering logo design, inspired by the circular label inside his hat. In 2011, Ritz was listed as the “best perceived snack brand” among American consumers in a YouGov poll.
A box of Ritz Crackers can be seen, in cartoon form, in Mickey’s Surprise Party (1939) a theatrical advertisement/cartoon short produced by Walt Disney Productions for Nabisco.
What many may not realize is that this cracker is more than just a tasty treat. It can also be used in many different cooking applications. Many of you already know it makes a good crunchy topper for casseroles and baked mac n cheese, it can also be used for chicken fish and especially pork chops.
Ritz Pork Chops
- 3 tablespoons country-style Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 cup Ritz (crumbled)
- 6 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 4 (12-oz.) 1-inch-thick, bone-in, center-cut pork chops
- 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (3 cups)
- 4 shallots, halved
- 8 ounces haricots verts (French green beans)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
How to Make it:
Preheat oven to 425°F with oven rack 6 inches from heat. Stir together mustard, thyme, rosemary, pepper, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt in a small bowl. Reserve 2 teaspoons of the mixture.
Stir together panko, 2 tablespoons of the oil, and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a shallow dish. Rub pork chops with mustard mixture, and dredge 1 side of pork in panko mixture, pressing to adhere. Place pork on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, with dredged side facing up.
Toss together potatoes, shallots, 1 1⁄2 tablespoons of the oil, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Arrange potato mixture around pork chops. Bake in preheated oven until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of pork registers 118°F, 18 to 20 minutes.
Increase oven temperature to broil. Toss haricots verts with 1 tablespoon of the oil, and scatter around pork chops. Broil until pork registers 135°F and vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Let pork rest 10 minutes (internal temperature will increase to 145°F). Whisk together vinegar, reserved 2 teaspoons mustard mixture, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil; drizzle over vegetables.