Friday, August 27, 2010

Sweet and Sassy Stuffed Pork Chops

One of the best combinations of flavors on the tongue to me is sweet and salty. I have taken the classic combination of the seasons best sweet, ripe black mission figs and combined it with the salty tang of prosciutto for the signature ingredients in the stuffing that fills these thick cut pork chops. In order to not have to use too much fig, as they are high in carbohydrates from their natural sugars, I have added a few traditional stuffing vegetables as well. The flavors of onion, celery and garlic mingle with traditional stuffing herbs like rosemary, sage and thyme and blend well with the sweet and salty taste of fig and prosciutto. The stuffing is sublime and I think well balanced so that the flavor profile shines through without too many additional carbohydrates. I hope you enjoy.

Sweet and Sassy Stuffed Pork Chops


2 large thick center cut pork chops on the bone, about 1 3/4 to 2 lbs. total weight
1 1/2 ounces prosciutto, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. fresh sage or 1/4 tsp. ground sage
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
1/2 ounce pine nuts, rough chopped
3 ounces fresh black mission figs, about 3 small figs, chopped
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

olive oil spray
black pepper

Preheat oven to 375'

Saute the prosciutto in a large pan lightly coated with olive oil spray on medium heat until crispy and remove and reserve. Coat the saute pan with olive oil spray and saute the celery, onion and garlic until tender. Add the herbs, pine nuts, figs and prosciutto, stir to blend. Add the balsamic vinegar and toss to coat. Continue to cook for about 2 minutes or until the figs and tender and the balsamic is syrupy or absorbed into the mixture. Season with black pepper to taste. Set aside to cool.

Cut a pocket in each pork chop by making a small incision, about 1 1/2" to 2", in the center of the exposed edge of meat and running the knife inside until it is about 1/2" from the bone. Using your clean finger enlarge the pocket inside of the chop without making the opening larger. Place about half of the cooled filling into each chop. Season the pork chops with black pepper to taste and lightly coat both sides with olive oil spray. Saute the chops on medium high heat in an oven safe pan until nicely caramelized and brown on one side, flip and finish cooking the chops in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the internal temperature has reached about 155'. Let pork chops rest for 10 minutes, loosely covered with aluminum foil before slicing. Cut meat from bone by running knife as close to the bone as possible. Remove meat from bone and slice to serve.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 330.7
Total Fat 16.8 g
Saturated Fat 6.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 6.0 g
Cholesterol 82.5 mg
Sodium 305.7 mg
Potassium 394.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 16.0 g
Dietary Fiber 3.3 g
Sugars 10.6 g
Protein 27.7 g

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