I'm slowly getting into the Fall baking/cooking routine again and I thought it would be great to participate in a Fall recipe swap time hosted by a Taste of Home Cooking. This theme had me totally excited because it was an apple/pumpkin theme - two of my favorite things about Fall. Although I was slightly sad that I didn't get a pumpkin recipe, but this was an interesting savory dish using apples.
I do love making savory dishes more than sweet dishes, and besides I have an overload of pumpkin recipes that have been pinned away. I didn't mind making this one bit because this recipe was easy enough to put together with a couple kitchen ingredients and spices. Thanks again to Kate at Kate's Recipe Box for my swap!
Make sure to buy thick cut pork chops so you can stuff them. If you can't find thick cut pork chops, you can easily substitute a pork tenderloin and gently cut it into the middle and add the stuffing the middle. You can roll it up and cook as directed. It should turn out just as beautiful and tasty!
Apple-Bacon Stuffed Pork Chops
Adapted from Kate’s Recipe Box
2 thick cut pork chops
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped fine
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup panko or breadcrumbs
½ green apple, peeled and diced
4 slices applewood smoked bacon, chopped into very small pieces
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon fresh sage
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons cream cheese
1-2 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Add the spice rub of oregano, thyme, red pepper flake, salt and pepper on both sides of the pork chops. Carefully cut a pocket slit in the middle.
Slice bacon and fry them up until crispy. Set on paper towels and let drain. In a medium bowl, add the panko and diced apples and mix until combined. Mix in the bacon, melted butter, cinnamon, sage, nutmeg and cream cheese. Mix everything with the back of a wooden spoon, adding a tablespoon or two of chicken broth until the stuffing is to your liking and wet enough to stuff the pork chops.
Spoon stuffing into the pork chops, securing it with toothpicks to hold the stuffing in place.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, add the olive oil and cook the pork chops until both sides are browned, about 4 minutes on each side. Place pan in the oven and let cook for 10 minutes, until golden and cooked through. Or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.
Serve with mashed potatoes, rice pilaf or roasted vegetables.
Review: Eric and I loved this recipe because it had a nice mixture of sweet and savory. The tartness of the apples compliments the panko stuffing, and I love the tanginess of cream cheese paired off with the crunchy bacon. It was a whole lot of protein on one dish, and I only managed to eat half of my pork chop. Perfect leftovers amount for lunch!