For the chops: Use a rolling pin to flatten the chops to a little less than 1/2-inch thin. Sprinkle the chops with salt and pepper.
Set up the dredging station: Get 3 large bowls or plates in a row, with the last one closest to your stove. Place a plate next to the last bowl. In the first bowl, add the flour. In the middle bowl, add the eggs with a splash of water. In the last bowl, add the breadcrumbs, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, dried sage, cardamom, Hungarian paprika, salt, black pepper, chili powder and lemon zest. Stir with a fork.
Dredge the chops: First, take each seasoned chop and dredge in the flour, shaking off any excess flour. Dip each in the egg, and then press each into the breading mixture, making sure to completely cover both sides. Remove each to the resting plate.
Fry the chops: In a large pan over medium-high heat, add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Cook the chops until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and set aside. To keep warm, cover gently with aluminum foil and do not seal (or place in a warm oven anywhere from 100 to 150 degrees F, uncovered).
For the gravy base: In the same pan on medium heat, add more oil if needed. Add the carrots, celery, half the onions, thyme, bay leaf, a pinch of salt and a grind or two of black pepper. Cook while stirring until everything is tender and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Raise the heat and add the wine, using a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan. When the wine has reduced by about half, add the beef broth. Bring to a simmer and reduce the sauce by half, about 10 minutes. Pour the sauce through a sieve into a bowl, pressing down to get the most liquid out of the solids. Set aside.
Finish the mushroom gravy: Wipe the pan clean with a paper towel. Over medium heat, add the butter and melt, but don't brown it. If the heat is too high, lower it. Then add the remaining chopped onions, the mushrooms, a pinch of salt and a grind or two of pepper. Cook while stirring until tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle over the flour and stir while cooking a few more minutes until the veggies soak up the flour. Add the reserved sauce base back to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook while stirring until thickened, about 10 minutes. Serve poured over the cooked chops. Serve with Sunny's Lemon-Thyme Spaetzle.
For the batter: In a bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, thyme, salt, black pepper, ground mustard, cayenne pepper, nutmeg and lemon zest. Gradually whisk in the flour to make a thick, tight batter. Add more flour by the spoonful until the proper texture is met (this should feel like it won't drip through a colander whole, but can be pressed through and remain stringy, not doughy).
Boil the spaetzle: Fill a double boiler halfway with water and add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and place a colander over the pot. Add a heaping cup of spaetzle batter at a time to the colander and, with a rubber spatula, press the batter through the holes into the boiling water. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the colander between pressings and stir the spaetzle into the water so the next group of batter doesn't stick to the one before it. The spaetzle is cooked when it floats to the top. Remove with a fine mesh sieve and strain to remove as much water as possible (shake it!).
Pan fry the spaetzle: In a large pan on medium-high heat, add the bacon and cook until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined plate. Add the butter to the remaining bacon fat in the pan and allow it to melt. Then add the boiled spaetzle to the pan to saute. Water and oil can produce splattering, be careful! Allow the spaetzle to build a golden crust, and then toss and cook until it's mostly golden all over, but still tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the bacon back to the pan and toss. Sprinkle with lemon juice, taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve warm.
Recipe courtesy of Sunny Anderson, 2012