Me llamo Rocky

Stuffed Pork Chops Makes for Happy People

Ok, usually, once I week I make something that I've never made before for dinner. I like to try new and different ways of cooking and experimenting with things I've never tried before. In most cases, it turns out wonderfully. A few weeks ago, I tried this new recipe of Stuffed Pork Chops, which I got out of the "Southern Living Cookbook" I got from my mother-in-law. It was such a hit that Dana couldn't stop talking about it. While I was in Denver, I talked about it, and Natalie and Wayne suggested I make it for them. Well, I did just that, and got rave reviews from my critic, Wayne. He loved it so much that he asked me for the recipe so he could try to make it himself. I also wanted to share the recipe with all of you, because it was way easier to make than you might think, you just needs the guts to give it a try. I will say, however, that it does take a bit of time. If you are short on time, I would suggest breaking up the recipe by cutting up everything that needs to be cut in one session, make the stuffing and stuff the pork chops in another session, and then cooking it all when you are ready to eat. And, don't be scared of the apples because it only adds flavor and you can't even tell that it actually apples inside. Mmmm, good!

Stuffed Pork Chops

prep time: 30 minutes, cook: 50 minutes, Serves 6

6 bacon slices
2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and diced
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
1 cup cubed fontina cheese
6 (1 1/2 inch thick) center-cut pork loin chops
1 1/8 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

Cook: Bacon in a large skillet until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 2 tbsp drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon; set aside.

Saute: Apple, shallot, and ginger in hot drippings 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat, and stir in sage. (I couldn't find fresh sage, so I mixed in 1 heaping tbsp of dry sage)

Stir: together apple mixture, bacon, and cheese. Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each pork chop, cutting to, cut not through, other side to form a pocket. Sprinkle both sides and pocket of each pork chop with salt and pepper. Spoon apple mixture evenly into pockets; secure with wooden picks.

Cook: chops, in 2 batches, in hot olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 1-2 minutes on each side or until golden. Place in a lightly greased roasting pan or large shallow baking dish.

Bake: at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until done.

Enjoy!!  I promise you won't be disappointed.  And, you can play around with the recipe a little.  I didn't ever follow it exactly the way the recipe calls and it still comes out tasting great.  I used different cheese once--trying out Havarti Dill.  I couldn't find fresh sage, so I used the dry stuff and mixed it together with the shallots and apples right away.  And, for those of you who may not know what shallots are, they are onions.  They look like a mix between a yellow onion and a large version of garlic.  You find them by the onions, and I have typically found them in those little plastic, wire bags at the end of the onion stand.  If you can't find them, you can substituate with one medium sized onion.

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