Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pesto Stuffed Pork Chops

Every once in awhile, I give up my kitchen duties and let my husband take over. Sometimes the result is not so great, and other times, it's simply fantastic. Tonight was one of those nights. A little stressed out from working late and taking a night class, my husband offered to cook on Sunday. He picked two recipes, one we had almost all the ingredients for, and the other, next to none. I had to choose between these two, so I chose the easier one, since he's not good with multi tasking in the kitchen.

I left him completely alone for 1 hour to prepare the meal. When he emerged from the kitchen, four lovely pesto stuffed pork chops came with him. Overall, this was a great meal.

Pesto Stuffed Pork Chops
from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, Bridal Edition

3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons refrigerated basil pesto
1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
4 pork loin chops or boneless pork loin chops, cut 1-1/4 inches thick - TIP: since we were going to stuff the pork chops, we purchased butterfly cut chops at the stores instead. This made stuffing them much easier.
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

For filling, in a small bowl stir together feta cheese, pesto, and pine nuts. Set aside.

Trim fat from meat. Make a pocket in each chop by cutting horizontally from the fat side almost to the bone or the opposite side. Divide filling among pockets in chops , placing the filling on one side of the chop. Fold over the other half of the chop(when they bake, the two "flaps" will sear together). If necessary, secure the opening with a wooden toothpick.

For rub, in a small bowl combine black pepper, oregano, garlic, red pepper, and thyme. Rub evenly onto all sides of meat. Place chops on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until done (160 degrees F) and juices run clear. Brush vinegar onto chops the last 5 minutes of baking. Before serving, discard toothpicks.

Servings: 4

I don't normally post this, but since they had them listed on the site, I thought I would add them. Of course, the facts below would be for the meal prepared exactly as printed on the BHG website.

Nutrition Facts
Calories 358, Total Fat (g) 18, Saturated Fat (g) 5, Monounsaturated Fat (g) 6, Polyunsaturated Fat (g) 2, Cholesterol (mg) 104, Sodium (mg) 201, Carbohydrate (g) 4, Total Sugar (g) 1, Fiber (g) 0, Protein (g) 41, Vitamin A (DV%) 0, Vitamin C (DV%) 2, Calcium (DV%) 6, Iron (DV%) 11, Lean Meat (d.e.) 6, Fat (d.e.) .5, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

My husband paired this with corn on the cob and broccoli and carrots with walnuts.(Stay tuned later this week for that recipe). The whole meal was really delicious. The only thing we would do differently if we re-made this, was to go a little lighter on the rub. Rubbing both sides of the chops may have been overkill because the spiciness of it completely overtook the taste of the pesto stuffing.

For the corn, instead of using butter, we topped it with lime juice and chili powder. This was a great healthy alternative to butter!

1 comment:

  1. It's so nice when they take over cooking once in awhile hey?