Monday, June 20, 2011

Pesto-Stuffed Pork Chops

5 Tbsp. crumbled feta cheese
3 Tbsp. prepared basil pesto (I made my own version)
1 1/2 Tbsp. pine nuts, toasted
6 pork loin chops or boneless pork loin chops, cut 1 1/4 inches thick

1 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/3 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/3 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/3 tsp. dried thyme, crushed

1 1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1. For filling, stir together cheese, pesto and 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. If necessary, secure opening with wooden toothpick.

2. For rub, in a small bowl combine black pepper, salt, 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 oven for 35-45 minutes or until done (160 degrees) and juices run clear. Brush vinegar onto chops during last 5 minutes of baking. Before serving, discard toothpicks.

If desired, you may also grill.

Frozen directions:

Stuff pork chops as described in recipe. Wrap and freeze individually.

Lay flat on to thaw in refrigerator 24-48 hrs. Once thawed, apply rub and cook as described, brushing on balsamic vinegar during last 5 minutes.

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