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Stuffed Pork Chops a la Leah with Apples and Raisins

March 13, 2008

My take on Stuffed Pork Chops – with the added raisins, grapes and apples to the mix create one heck of a tender stuffed chop with a wonderful complex sauce- this is one of those make it and forget about it dishes that you let simmer on the stove top or in the oven..I served it up last night with scalloped sweet & white potatoes along with hearts of lettuce – Enjoy!

The sauce and stuffing really make this dish something else. It’s a slight take off on Chicken Veronique for those in the know. The added fruit really help the sauce become complex while the wine adds a nice touch. You may substitute apple juice for the wine if you wish, but add a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar for the acidity that is needed to help tenderize the cooking pork chops.

Great for parties too, should you not wish to make the stuffed pork chops, you may prepare the stuffing and bake it in a buttered casserole dish in the oven and cook everything else as mentioned below for a great economical party dish people will want the recipe – but don’t tell them where you got it, since this will become your new signature dish, it’s that impressive in its fancy taste!

Ingredients:

  • 1″-1-1/2″ thick pork chops – 1 chop per person
  • 1 large crisp apple – granny smith just fine
  • 2 stalks celery chopped 1″ thick strips
  • 2 large carrots chopped into 1″ thick bites
  • 2 cups water – or chicken broth
  • 1 cup white wine or apple juice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons ‘better than bullion chicken flavored’ if using water like I did.
  • 1/2 cup or more of raisins/currants
  • 1 cup seedless grapes
  • 1 extra large tomato cut into large cubes
  • 4 garlic cloves – chopped
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • salt & pepper
  • toothpicks for sealing stuffed pork chops
  • Olive oil and butter
  • ***for stuffing
  • 1 medium sized bermuda (purple) onions- chopped fine
  • 1 crisp apple such as a granny smith – I used a red delicious – skinned and chopped fine
  • 2 celery stalks – chopped fine
  • 1 cup rustic bread cubes (I used my cilantro herbed bread I made over the weekend)
  • 1 Tablespoon each of olive oil and butter
  • 1 tablespoon herbs de province
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • salt & pepper

Equipment needed:

  • Deep skillet with lid for making stuffing (I used my deep le crueset skillet), for making both stuffing and the pork chops for a one ‘pot’ method or skillet and dutch oven with lid.

Directions:

  1. Take pork chops out and its easier when still they’re slightly frozen to slice into the sides of your pork chops to create pockets. Set aside to let chops come to room temperature.
  2. With skillet, heat it up with a little olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter.
  3. To melted butter and hot oil, add chopped onions and let sauté for 5 minutes, then add celery and apples, let sauté for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add salt, pepper, ground sage and herbs de province.
  5. Take off heat, and add mixture over cubed bread. Stir till combined, and add enough of the apple juice until bread is wet. Set aside.
  6. Heat up your deep skillet or your dutch oven till quite hot.
  7. Stuff pork chops with stuffing (some will come out – that’s ok), then with toothpicks pierce right through to close. I used about 5 toothpicks per large chop.
  8. Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper, then sprinkle a little of the corn starch and with fingers spread to coat chops.
  9. Add a little olive oil and butter to hot skillet, and carefully place chops into skillet. Salt, pepper and cornstarch the other sides of pork chops if you hadn’t done that before now they are in the skillet.
  10. Let chops really sear well – take a peek to see if one side is quite browned, when browned, turn over and turn down heat.
  11. To skillet, add chopped carrots and celery. Add more onion of you would like.
  12. Turn off heat for moment, and add wine/apple juice. Turn back heat and let simmer for a few minutes, moving chops if you would like to help de-glaze all those great bits of pieces that may have stuck to the bottom of your skillet.
  13. Now turn back the heat and add your chicken broth or water and ‘better than bullion’ like I did.
  14. Then add raisins, grapes, tomato, bay leaf, whole cloves, garlic and top with lid. Let come to a good boil, then lower heat on simmer.
  15. Since the tooth picks keep the chops lifted a bit off of the bottom of the skillet/dutch oven, make sure enough liquid is in your skillet so that the pork chops really simmer in the liquid broth sauce.
  16. On occasion, skim some of the liquid and pour your over your chops, flip half way through the cooking time so that both sides are extra tender.
  17. 15 minutes before serving, should you have any extra stuffing, you may either place it into the sauce (which is what I did) or reheat slightly and serve as an additional side.
  18. If you should wish to thicken the sauce, take out the pork chops and keep warm. Turn up heat and let sauce come to a hard boil and let reduce for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup heavy cream to 1 tablespoon cornstarch to create paste then add to boiling liquid and allow to thicken. Put back chops and serve it up! Remember to remove toothpicks before serving.
  19. Enjoy stuffed pork chops a la Leah.

Leah Quinn is a writer specializing on food, health and entertainment and is a multi-media artist living in New York. Stop by her food site to learn many more healthy and interesting recipes at http://dinner-and-jam.blogspot.com and to find links to her many other sites and blogs.

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