Stuffed Pork Chops
-3 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
-2 shallots, finely chopped
-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
-8 oz. mustard greens, stems removed, leaves torn into small pieces
-4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, finely diced
-1 c. finely diced cornbread (from purchased cornbread, corn muffin, or toaster corncake)
-1 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese
-8 boneless pork loin chops (6 oz. each), 1.25″ thick
-1/2 tsp. each salt and freshly ground pepper
-1 Tbsp. olive oil
1. Cook bacon slowly in a large saute pan or Dutch oven over low heat, until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp; remove with slotted spoon to paper towel to drain. Discard all but 1.5 Tbs. bacon drippings from skillet.
2. Add shallots and garlic to drippings, cook over medium heat 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add greens, cover pan and cook 7 to 9 minutes, stirring twice, until greens are tender. Cool completely. Stir in cheddar, cornbread, Parmesan, and bacon.
3. Place pork chops on a flat surface; with a sharp paring knife, make a 1″ incision on meaty side of each chop. Swipe the blade back and forth inside the chop to make a pocket all the way back to the fat side of the chop, without cutting through the chop. Stuff each chop with a heaping 1/4 c. stuffing. Wrap each chop tightly in plastic wrap and pack in a freezer container; freeze up to 1 month.
4. Thaw chops in refrigerator overnight.
5. Heat oven to 375 F. Season chops with salt and pepper; secure openings with toothpicks when thawed. Heat olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet; add chops and cook 2 minutes per side, until browned. Cover skillet and transfer to oven; bake 15 minutes, or until internal temperature registers 155 F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove chops to a platter; cover with foil and let stand 5 minutes. Remove toothpicks before serving.
Makes 8 servings.
I made the cornbread myself (from a Jiffy cornbread mix)-ended up only using 1/4 of the pan, so I had leftovers-yay!(I like cornbread). I accidentally didn’t get thick enough pork chops, so it was slightly more difficult to create and fill the pockets. They also didn’t take quite as much stuffing. I didn’t do the make-ahead-and-freeze method as suggested by the recipe-just prepared and cooked them all in one night. I really liked the way this dish turned out, aside from my screwups.