GCC: Menu 12 - Pork Chops with Blue Cheese Stuffing, Warm Green Salad and Potato Herb Galette

How late is this post?

2 days late.  This was supposed to post this past Sunday.  But, well, I been a bit busy, celebrating my birthday for the past 3 days. Yes, folk, over at my house we celebrate birthdays for days - not for A DAY, but FOR DAYS.  This way we get the maximum celebratory moments in there.  Plus this year, my birthday fell on a weekday – and not any weekday, but Monday.  How much do we hate Mondays? We hate it much. And a birthday day? Even more, so we needed to balance it out and maximize it.

And in order to do that, I decided take the day off on Monday, and made it into a long weekend and to basically run with the flow, which was let Tom pamper me silly.  So he did most of the cooking this past weekend.  That is why the Gutsy Cook menu of the week did not even get done until Sunday for a quick lunch.  And the only thing I did was the Pork Chops with the Blue Cheese stuffing.  The green bean salad and the potato herb galette fell of the list.  Ok, a potato gratin took it’s place, which had nothing to do with the original menu - but it’s so good I now you guys will forgive me.

The Pork chops more than made up for the lost of the other two menu items.  These chops are DELICIOUS.  See how I CAPITALIZED that word? Yeah, because maybe “delicious”  will not do them justice, maybe scrumptious would be a better word. Nevermind, no matter what words you use, you need to run now, buy your apples, pork chops, blue cheese, pecans and get these into your oven pronto (as in STAT!).

The beauty of this recipe is the simplicity of making it in the first place.  The whole thing will take you 10 minutes (if not less) to put together and another 10 minutes of cooking time, so in less than 20 minutes you will be cutting into a juicy, moist pork chop with a flavor combo out of this world.

I followed the recipe pretty much to the letter, except (ok, maybe NOT to the letter)… 

I did pan sautéed the chops before I put them in the broiler, somehow the recipe did not ask you to do that step and I was stumped about it, but I’m a rebel and I wanted to get as much caramelization as I could on the chops and have them spend less time in the broiler, since I was afraid that they would burn before they were done. It worked beautifully.

I only used 2 pork chops (the recipe calls for four), so, I only used half of the apple for the stuffing. So in order to not loose the other half, I cooked the left over apple in the same pan that I sautéed the chops.  With a bit of salt and pepper and served this along side the chops, for those that like them apples.

I replaced the pecans for walnuts, mainly because I was lazy.  I had the walnuts already chopped from my Christmas cookies exchange and did not feel like dirtying up the food processor.

Pork Chops with Blue Cheese Stuffing
Serves 4 - Adapted from The Kitchen Bible

For the stuffing

  • 1 sweet apple such as Golden Delicious, peeled and finely diced
  • 3oz (85g) Roquefort or Stilton, crumbled (I used gorgonzola cheese)
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans (I used walnuts)
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter

For the chops

  • 4 center cut pork loin chops
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Wooden toothpicks

In a small sautéed pan melt butter and add the chopped scallions, cook for about 2-3 minutes until soft and translucent.  Place in a bowl and then add the rest of the stuffing ingredients, combine and set aside. Don’t rinse the saucepan!

Trim the excess fat from the pork chops. With a small sharp knife, make a horizontal slit through the fat side of each chop, cutting through the meat almost to the bone to make a pocket.  Season the chops with salt and pepper all around.

Divide the stuffing evenly among the chops, tucking it firmly into the pockets. Secure with wooden toothpicks.

Preheat the broiler.

Using the same sauce pan, heat up the olive oil and butter, and then add the chops one at a time or 2 at a time, make sure not to crowd them in the pan, cook until nice and brown (about 2-3 minutes per side), place the pork chops on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle with a bit more salt and pepper (if you dare). Place under your oven broiler for 6–8 minutes on each side, depending on thickness, or until golden brown and the juices run clear. Remove the toothpicks, let them rest a bit for about 2 minutes or so and serve.

And to make them extra special….

I was all set to make the Potato Herb Galette, except that when I started to read the recipe, I notice that it makes you cook the potatoes before hand.  And I was sort of in a hurry, so instead I did a potato gratin.

Potato Gratin
Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon of butter, softened to coat baking dish
  • 3 baking potatoes, scrubbed clean and peeled.
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 thyme sprigs (you could also use rosemary or even sage)
  • 1 tablespoon of crushed garlic (about 2-3 small garlic cloves)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of peppery cheese – Gruyere, Fontina, Parmesan or Pecorino - or a combo of all.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Smear the softened butter all over a baking dish, put aside.

In a saucepan, warm up the heavy cream with the garlic and the herb spring until hot, turn off the heat, but leave in the burner.

In the meantime, prepare the potatoes, peal them and with a mandolin cut them into thin slices, place in a bowl.  Add salt and pepper and toss them to season them.

Remove the thyme sprigs from the cream and pour a bit of the warm cream at the bottom of the baking dish and then arrange the slices of potatoes at the bottom of the baking dish - its ok if they overlap.  Sprinkle a bit of the cheese on top and then top with more cream, and continue to do two (or three) more times, ending with the cream mixture. Top with the rest of the cheese.  I put a bit of chopped thyme of top, cover with foil and baked for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes or so, until your potatoes are golden brown and really bubbling.  At this point you can “toast” the top a bit more by switching your broiler to LOW and watching it very carefully “burning the cheese” until you get the desired “crispy” top.

Remove from the oven and allow it to stand for a few minutes before serving.

Now sit back and have a super easy meal that looks all sort of fancy.

Remember to check out the other Gutsy Cooks to get their take on this week’s menu.