Saturday, March 1, 2014

Stuffed Pork Chops

I'm still clearing out stuff.  This one got rid of the Costco-sized canister of breadcrumbs that were here before I started this blog.  The mustard I used technically expired over a year ago.  There's so much vinegar in mustard, it isn't a big deal.  The pork chops were on sale after Superbowl.  Three days after a bbq-heavy holiday is a great time to shop for meat.

Most similar recipes online use cheese in the stuffing and make a sauce.  I'm not a huge sauce fan and I had half an opened jar of turkey gravy in the fridge, which I ended up not needing.  I also felt like cheese would compete with the mustard for dominance and skipped it.  Don't drown out the flavors if you don't have to.

As for the stuffing a meat product issue, it's called a food thermometer.  If the core reads 165º, everything is dead.  Don't worry.

4 thick-cut pork chops, boneless (about 5 oz each)
1 C frozen spinach, thawed
1 Tb oil, plus 1/4 C for frying
*1 clove garlic, minced
*2 Tb grainy mustard
*1 C seasoned bread crumbs

1.  To make the filling, cook garlic in a large, oven-proof skillet in 1 Tb oil over medium until it begins to have an aroma.  Add spinach and 1 Tb of bread crumbs and cook until moisture is absorbed, about 5 minutes.  Start preheating oven to 350º.

2.  Make a pocket in the pork chops:  Into the side, use a sharp knife to slit the meat, leaving half an inch intact on the other three sides.  My meat was still partly frozen, which helped the process immensely.  Spoon the warm filling into the pockets.  That way, it will finish defrosting the meat for you and start to cook it.

3.  Rinse out pan and put it back on the stove over medium-high heat to dry.  Once dry, add 1/4 C oil and let it heat while you prepare the chops.

4.  Place remaining breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl or pie tin.  Squirt a bit of mustard onto each pork chop and rub it all over.  Dredge chops in breadcrumbs and place in hot skillet.  Cook for 4 minutes on first side, to get it dark and crispy.  Flip chops and cook for 2 more minutes.  Place whole thing in oven and cook until thermometer reaches 165º in the thickest part of the filling, about ten minutes.  Remove carefully from oven.  The hot oil might splash and burst.  Serve hot, with gravy or a sauce if desired.

Difficulty rating  :)

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