Theres something Ive been meaning to tell you. You know all the fancy photos of the food on this site The ones that make it look like we live in some kind of Autumn paradise. Or the ones that look like we spend our evenings gathered around a cozy dining room table sipping wine Its all fake. Well, the food is real, but the rest of it is staged. Dave, my husband and resident photographer, has a number of high-tech cameras in addition to lighting equipment, light boxes, studio reflectors, etc. So if your reality doesnt resemble the food photography you find here, dont feel bad. Mine doesnt either.
Even though Dave knows what hes doing and weve got some nice equipment, its actually really hard to get a decent picture sometimes especially when it comes to meat! Meat tends to look either greasy or dried out. This is frustrating because while your carefully prepared steak might look amazing in person, as soon as you take the picture it is reduced to a big ugly blob of brown. Baked goods are the opposite. They are actually enhanced through photography. Do a search on a site like tastespotting and compare the number of meatloaf photos with the number of cupcake photos and youll see what I mean.
What this all boils down to is that I came up with a really good stuffed pork chops recipe the other night but the photos turned out like crap. It would be a shame not to share the recipe with you just because we couldnt get a good picture, though. Luckily, Dave was wearing his skeleton costume.
Feliz Dia de los Muertos!
This is a great dish for a special occasion or to serve to company. You can prepare the chops through step 3 and just store in the refrigerator until 40 minutes before dinner. I stuffed pork chops but you could stuff a pork loin or roast, too.
6 bone-in pork rib chops, 1.5 inches thick
cup salt (for brine
butter for browning
2 tbs butter
3/4 large red onion, finely sliced
2 cored and peeled tart apples, diced
3 oz gorgonzola cheese
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
The rest of the red onion, minced
1 bag (16oz frozen cherries, thawed and chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup red wine
1 tbs honey
2 tbs butter
salt and pepper to taste
Step 1: Brine the chops
Use a sharp knife to cut a large pocket in the center of each chop. If you do this right, you can cut a large pocket while leaving a relatively small opening with just enough room to put the stuffing in later. Dissolve the salt in 6 cups of water. Submerge the chops and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Step 2: Prepare the Stuffing
Melt the butter in a pan and add the onions. Cook over med-low heat for 15 minutes. Add the onion and cook another 10 minutes. The apple should be soft and the onions nicely carmelized. Combine the onion and apple with the blue cheese and macadamia nuts in a bowl. Mix well.
Step 3: Stuff the Chops
Remove the chops from the brine and pat dry. Use a spoon and your fingers to fill the pockets in each chop.
Step 4: Cook the Chops
Preheat over to 450 degrees. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Brown the chops on each side for about 2-3 minutes per side (unless your skillet is really huge, you may have to do this in 2 batches. Place on a baking sheet and cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the inside temp reads 140 degrees. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.
Step 5: Prepare the Sauce while the Chops Cook
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a pan and cook add the red onions over med-high heat until softened. Add the red wine, broth, and cherries. Reduce by half, add the honey, remaining tablespoon of butter, salt and pepper.
Serve the sauce in a separate dish and allow guests to pour their own sauce.