Asbury Cafe

When I was in graduate school, I did a 3 month fieldwork assignment working with clients with mental illness at the Wyandot Center in Kansas City, Kansas. One of my favorite parts of working at Wyandot was Wednesday Nite Asbury Cafe. The Asbury Cafe was a collaborative effort between the Occupational Therapy Education Department at the University of Kansas Medical Center, the clients at Wyandot and Asbury United Methodist Church in Prairie Village, Kansas. Every Wednesday night, clients from Wyandot would cook and serve a gourmet meal to around 30-40 customers (mostly members of the church) for the reasonable cost of just $6. It was an opportunity for employment for people with mental illness and also an opportunity for camaraderie and friendship for those of us without mental illness with people whom we might not otherwise befriend. As an occupational therapy student (who also loves to cook!), it was the best of both worlds and I loved every minute of it.

Some of the meals that were created included pad thai, penne with lemon and asparagus, moussaka, seafood gumbo and spanakopita…not your ordinary Wednesday night church potluck supper! Every meal included sides and a homemade dessert. We even made King cake for Mardi Gras! At the end of my assignment, the occupational therapist who spearheaded this project gave each occupational therapy student a cookbook of all of the recipes that have been created at Asbury Cafe. This pork chop recipe is from that cookbook and is my favorite preparation for pork chops. We had this with mashed potatoes and sauteed zucchini and corn.

Baked Pork Chops with Parmesan Sage Crust
Recipe Courtesy of Tana Brown

1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
2 large eggs
1/4 cup flour
4 pork chops
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix breadcrumbs, cheese, sage and lemon peel in a flat dish. Whisk eggs in a medium bowl. Place flour on a plate. Sprinkle salt and pepper over pork chops. Coat pork chops with flour. Dip into eggs, then coat both sides with bread crumbs.

Melt butter with oil in an oven proof skillet over medium high heat. Add pork chops to skillet and cook until golden brown on both sides. Transfer skillet to oven and bake about 20 minutes.

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