Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Brought to you by popular demand!

Ok so last night I made Stuffed Baked Pork Chops. They were awesome, and quite honestly made of random stuff in my pantry.

I don't have any pictures of it, so I will try to describe them in great detail.

My grand idea for this dinner had originally started as italian based goodness, but it completely morphed into good ol' comfort food.

What you will need:
Boneless Pork chops (however many your family requires, mine required 4)

1 whole sprig of rosemary, or 1/2 tsp dried. (you'll want to strip your sprig of all the leaves and throw the branch away.)
Some ground thyme and sage. Salt and Pepper to taste.

1/2 an onion, chopped or diced

 1 of whatever your favorite squash is peeled and diced into small cubes. I used a lovely green and white striped summer squash. If it were fall I might have used butternut or pumpkin.

1/4 of a bag seasoned croutons crushed

8 multigrain crackers crushed

I find that the big round ones work best.

Chicken stock
Dijon mustard
Sliced Provolone cheese
1 leek

Ok, so start by preheating your oven to 375*. Peel the first three layers of your leek. Wash it of all the dirt. Then slice it like you see above.
If you have a cast iron pan, by the way, that is what I recommend you use for this recipe. Everything should fit in a medium one nicely! If not, then use one that can go from stove top to oven!
Melt a 1/2 a stick of butter or heat up 1 tbls of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, your choice, in the pan. As soon as it is melted (I did use the butter. I find I don't have to add more, and with oil you will need to) sautee the leek slices on medium low heat until golden brown. Turn off the heat.
Next make your stuffing.
Mix together the chopped onion, croutons, crackers, and 1 big squeeze of dijon mustard. It should look fairly dry and crumbly. Chop up the rosemary leaves if you are using fresh, and add them in with 1 1/2 tsp of thyme. Salt and pepper to taste.
These next two steps are important: you will be alternating them until you have the right mushiness and flavor. Add 1 tsp of sage and stir, then add 1/4 cup of stock. Stir. Taste. Ask, "is this the right flavor for me?" If you don't think so, add 1/2 a tsp more of sage. Remember about your mushiness. No one likes dry stuffing right? So you want your stuffing to not be quite a river, but the consistency of oatmeal. At this point forget about the measuring cups and do little bits at a time. Remember you can always add more, but you can NOT take away! Do these steps until it is where you want it to be.  ( I know that this is vague. To be honest this was a learned tecnique from my memaw and mom, and I'm not quite sure how to put it in writing. I hope it works for you.)

Next you will want to butterfly your chops. If you don't know how to do this HERE is a great tip video!

To stuff your pork chops:
Take one of the butterflied chops lay half of a slice of provolone cheese on either side. Then add one spoonful of the stuffing. Close your chop, and toothpick it. Salt and Pepper both sides of the closed chop.
Once you have all of the chops done this way, start heating up the pan again. Add more oil if you used oil (this is your call, but I find that it may need it).
You should have a significant amount of stuffing left over too! This is a goody bonus!
Once the pan is sizzling hot, add in your chops. Cook them for 4 minutes on each side. Add the rest of the stuffing to your pan, and slap it in the oven. Bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes.
The cheese should be bubbling out of the the chops and the stuffing should be golden brown. And, do you remember the leeks? They have caramelized and become part of the stuffing! Lovely!

I served these with corn on the cob and Alfredo mashed potatoes.

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