Thursday, October 22, 2009
Easy Baked Stuffed Pork Chops and Carmelized Apples
Now this is a recipe I made way back when, maybe 30 years ago or so. It used to be on the back of the Pepperidge Farm Herbed Stuffing bag, has since been removed, but I still make this from time to time, and it's still a favorite. It makes a nice presentation and one that I prepare when I was something just a little extra special for the family.
I've pretty much used the stuffing recipe that's on the Pepperidge Farm website with a couple of changes indicated in parenthesis.
Easy Baked Stuffed Pork Chops
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9 inch x 5 inch loaf pan, set aside.
Lightly brown 6 pork chops (bone in, boneless, loin, center cut, your choice), in butter or oil, not cooking all the way through. You're looking just to give it some color. Place chops in prepared loaf pan, standing the pork chops in a rows down the length of the loaf pan.
Prepare stuffing mix.
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 can (10 1/2 ounces) chicken broth (you may not need the entire amount)
4 cups herb seasoned stuffing
1 medium apple, peeled, cored and chopped
A good pinch of Bell's Seasoning (optional)
Heat the butter in a 10-inch skillet or a deep sauce pan over medium heat. Add the celery and onion and cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Add the broth and heat to a boil. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the stuffing mix and apples, stirring until well combined. Taste for seasoning. I like to add a little extra Bell's Seasoning because I like the flavor of sage, and I think the pork chops can use the little added flavor. The other note I'd like to make here is that you may not not need all that broth. The last time I did this, the stuffing was way too wet; I would go with half the amount, but that's personal preference.
Now, with a spoon (and probably your hands), lightly pack the stuffing in between the rows of pork chops, so that you'll have stuffing, pork chop, stuffing, pork chop, stuffing, etc. The stuffing will expand so don't pack it in too firmly.
Bake at 350F for one hour or until done, depending on how thick your chops are. When ready to serve, scoop out a pork chop with the stuffing.
I often serve pork with apples; the two flavors just seem to go together so well. This time I made a simple caramelized apple.
Really, this is just too easy, not a recipe per se, but a method. A friend of mine from Kentucky shared her family's recipe with me.
Four apples, peeled, cored, and sliced as if for a pie. (Granny Smiths are good for this as they stand up to cooking.) Add a quarter cup of brown sugar, two tablespoons of butter. Put all into a frying pan and heat through over medium heat. The butter and the brown sugar will melt, making a wonderful caramel coating for the apples. Cook, stirring frequently, until apples are tender when pierced with a fork. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon if you want. It's really that simple. This makes a nice change from applesauce and a delicious way to use up apples.