One good look at this picture and you'll realize the importance of thinking about color as well as texture and flavor when you're planning a menu. Obviously I didn't, as you can see, because more green on the plate in the form of a veggie would have gone a long way in making this look as good as it tasted. Speaking of making things look good, taking pictures in the "light" of a winter evening can be a real challenge too!
A little envelope cut into the side of lean pork loin chops and stuffed with a mixture of tiny toasted bread cubes, sauteed mushrooms, onions and spiced with rosemary is all it took to make this chop special. Joined inside by a crumble of good blue cheese the chops are browned on both sides then finished in the oven. Served with gorgeous braised apples on a bed of sweet potatoes, it's a quick and easy road to weeknight dinner deliciousness.
By the way, we purchased a small hunk of pork loin roast because the chops had been cut way too thin and were too puny to stuff so the Big Guy cleaned up the loin by removing some silverskin and then cut it into the perfect size chops. In hindsight I think it may have been better to just have made a hole down the center of the loin, shoved the stuffing in and cooked it all in one piece. It's good and tasty as it is but it may have been better cooked whole with the addition of some white wine or a little cider to provide added moisture.
Roquefort Stuffed Pork Chops with Braised Apples (inspired by Bon Appetit)
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1-1/2 cups small cubes of French bread
1-1/2 cups chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 ounces Roquefort cheese, crumbled
4 one inch thick boneless pork loin chops
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
Heat half the butter in a medium sauté pan. When butter has melted and starts to sizzle add French bread cubes and cook, tossing often until they are golden brown. Remove from pan and place in a small bowl. Return sauté pan to heat with remaining butter. Add mushrooms, onion and rosemary and cook until vegetables are soft. Remove to bowl with bread cubes. Toss ingredients together and refrigerate covered until cold. When cold, add crumbled blue cheese and toss to mix.
Preheat oven to 350. Cut a slit into the side of each chop to make an envelope and fill with stuffing mixture. Seal chops using a toothpick. Season both sides well with salt and pepper and coat lightly in flour, shaking off excess. Heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add butter and when melted and pan is hot, add pork chops. Cook on both sides until golden brown – 2 minutes a side, then move skillet to oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until chops are cooked. Remove toothpicks and serve topped with apples.
3 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup applejack brandy or cider
Heat a small sauté pan over medium high heat. Add butter and brown sugar and cook stirring occasionally until sugar has melted. Add apples and sauté until apples are caramelized and starting to turn golden brown in color. Remove pan from heat and add applejack brandy or cider. Return to heat, cover and simmer until apples are tender – about 5 minutes. Download Roquefort Stuffed Pork Chops with Braised Apples
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