I think my kitchen mojo may have returned… We have another weeknight winner!
Dr. O and I have a move on the horizon, so I’ve started trying to base my weekly menus around pantry items I’d rather use than move or throw away. I resisted the urge to make something sweet with raisins (don’t oatmeal-raisin bars sound wonderful?) and instead decided on something savory – Raisin-and-Bread-Stuffed Pork Chops from the April 2007 issue of Everyday Food. I had a loaf of whole-wheat bread on hand (we’re pretty lousy at finishing an entire loaf), so this was a good opportunity to cook with bread as well.
To make the stuffing, I combined 4 slices of whole-wheat sandwich bread (cubed), 1/4 cup of raisins, 1/4 cup of fresh chopped parsley, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, and 1 tablespoon of water in a medium bowl. I seasoned with salt and pepper and tossed the stuffing ingredients to combine.
Next, I laid 4 pork chops (each about 6 ounces and 3/4 inch thick) on a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. I used a paring knife to cut a deep pocket in each one (make sure you don’t cut all the way through!) and then filled the pork chops with stuffing. I pressed down on each one gently to flatten it a bit, seasoned with salt and pepper, and then sprinkled 1 tablespoon of light-brown sugar over the chops.
I broiled the pork chops (without turning) until the meat was slightly browned and opaque throughout (8 minutes). While the pork chops broiled, I threw together a half recipe of Parmesan Green Beans. I boiled 1 package (10 ounces) of frozen French-cut green beans until they were tender (5 minutes, according to package directions). I drained them and added 1 tablespoon of butter, 1/2 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, and 1/2 tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese. I seasoned with salt and pepper, sprinkled the beans with another 1/2 tablespoon of Parmesan, and served them alongside the pork chops.
This was so yummy! It was an unusual combination, but it really worked well. (To quote Dr. O: “I never would have thought of this, but I like it.”) I guess I expected it to be a bit sweet from the brown sugar, but there was just enough to give the meat a bit of caramelization. The only hint of sweetness came from the raisins, and even that was slight. This was super quick (25 minutes), easy, and delicious – I look forward to making it again.
TIPS: This is a simple recipe, so you’ll want to be sure to use quality ingredients for the best flavor. I *love* Oroweat bread, and we could really taste it in the pork chop stuffing. I’m not sure if it would have been quite the same with Kroger’s $1.00 wheat bread. Make sure you get good pork chops, too!