Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Stuffed Pork Chops

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Finally, a night where I can cook at home! I've been craving pork chops lately and decided to make a special dinner of Stuffed Pork Chops for my family. Using some random ingredients in the fridge, I made a stuffing with blue cheese, roasted red peppers and spinach. It came out deliciously and the extra step of brining my pork chops made them super tender and moist...

Brining is probably a term many hear during Thanksgiving. Essentially, it's when meat is marinated in salty water before cooking. Taking the time to brine meats makes a big difference. It tenderizes the meat and adds some flavor too. When it comes to stuffing foods, be it pastas, calzones or even meats like pork chops, I found that fillings can be used interchangeably. In this case, the combination of blue cheese, roasted red peppers and spinach is a favorite of mine that I used even to top pizzas. I knew it would work just as well stuffed in pork chops. To serve with my pork chops, I oven roasted potatoes with a garlic & herb butter.


Stuffed Pork Chops
recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated

4 bone-in pork rib chops (12 to 14 ounces each), 1 1/2 inches thick
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
table salt

Stuffing:
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
5oz (1/2 a standard package) frozen spinach, thawed
1/4 cup chopped roasted red pepper
1 tablespoon melted butter

To prep and brine the pork chops:
Insert sharp paring or boning knife through side of chop until tip touches bone. Carefully cut opening to width of about 1 inch. Swing knife tip through chop to create pocket, being careful not to widen opening. Turn knife and swing blade in oppposite direction. The finished pocket should be as large as possible. Dissolve sugar and 1/4 cup salt in 6 cups water in large bowl or container; submerge chops, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

To make the stuffing, in a bowl, combine the ingredients until fully incorporated; set aside.

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, place rimmed baking sheet or shallow roasting pan on rack, and heat oven to 450 degrees. Remove chops from brine and rinse under cool running water; pat dry with paper towels. Place one-quarter of stuffing in pocket of each chop. Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just beginning to smoke. Arrange chops in skillet and cook without moving chops until well browned, about 3 minutes. Using tongs, flip chops and cook until well browned on second side, 2 to 3 minutes longer.

Using tongs, transfer chops to preheated pan in oven; cook until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of stuffing registers 135 degrees, 15 to 20 minutes, flipping chops halfway through cooking time. Transfer chops to platter, tent loosely with foil, and let rest 10 minutes (internal temperature will climb to 145 degrees). Serve immediately.

5 comments:

Cakewhiz said...

That stuffing sounds marvellous. I don't eat pork but i am definitely trying out that stuffing in chicken. I am sure even that would taste great :)

Peggy said...

I really have a craving for stuffed pork chops now! These sound terrific!

Christina said...

That sounds wonderful. A great new way to make pork.

USA Kiwi said...

We had brined, stuffed pork chops for dinner tonight - it was awesome!

I like your fillings too. You are right - fillings are interchangeable. Only limited by what's in the fridge!

Anonymous said...

Im making these tonight for my boyfriend and mother!

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