Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Eating with my eyes
It should come as no surprise to you that one of my favorite stores at the mall is the Williams Sonoma store. I love to browse through their selection of cookware and dream about a kitchen equipped with nothing but All-Clad Cookware and Wusthof knives. Don't get me wrong - I have a very well equipped kitchen but I marvel at the selection of cookware, equipment and ingredients that are contained in that store. Every time that I visit the store, I come away with renewed inspiration and ideas.
Even though I haven't been in the store since before Christmas, last week I received a copy of the latest Williams Sonoma catalog in the mail. (Also a great source of culinary inspiration.) As I looked through the pages filled with the latest cooking supplies, a new pork chop recipe caught my eye. I had just bought some pork chops at the supermarket with plans to cook them on the grill but when I found this Williams Sonoma recipe, I changed my plans and decided to stuff them instead.
Pork Chops with Butternut Squash and Apple Stuffing
1 1/2 cups butternut squash , diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup apple, diced
6 Tablespoons oil
1 Tablespoon onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1 1/4 toasted bread crumbs
4 bone in loin chops, 1 1/2" thick
Combine squash, celery, apple, 2 T. oil, salt and pepper.
Heat 2 Tablespoons oil in skillet. Add onion and saute for 2 minutes.
Add garlic and thyme and cook 1 minute.
Add squash mixture and cook until softened. (about 7 minutes) Stir in bread crumbs and remove from heat.
Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Cut a slit in each chop all the way to the bone to create a pocket. Spoon 1/2 cup stuffing into each chop. Heat remaining oil in skillet and brown stuffed chops for 3 minutes on each side.
Transfer chops to a baking dish and bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. (I used my oven probe to indicate when the stuffing temperature reached 160.)
Remove from oven and tent loosely with foil.
The Williams Sonoma recipe called for a thick gravy like sauce but I opted for a lighter, pan sauce to help keep the calories down. (I'm feeding a wrestler who is trying to maintain his weight.) I created my own quick sauce that was really good on these pork chops.
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
Add ingredients to skillet and bring to a boil. Continue to reduce sauce until thickened.
I served the pork chops with the Dijon pan sauce, fresh green beans and whole grain bread.
I had to rely on my sense of smell to really enjoy these pork chops because I couldn't eat them for dinner. I had spent 2 hours in the dentist chair earlier in the day so I was in no condition to bite into a thick, juicy pork chop. (Total torture because they looked and smelled amazing.) Even though I can't give you my first hand opinion about the flavor, I can tell you that my family really liked them. There was only one small piece leftover for lunch the next day and that's a sign of a well received dinner.