Continuing my quest to find 10 solid pork chop recipes I was convinced by my children to do a stuffed pork chop. I've always worried the pork chops will be dry and the filling under-cooked. I solved this problem by cooking the chops to an internal temp of 125 then resting, allowing the stuffing time to heat up. The original recipe is from Delish.com. I always follow the recipe exactly the first time making notes in the margin then make it with changes the second time round.
Overall I wasn't happy with this recipe but I was definitely in the minority. Everyone else loved it which is why it made it to the blog. The Berkshire cross pork chops were nice and juicy with a lovely flavor plus I thoroughly enjoyed the filling. My problem was that I didn't love them together.
I made a few small changes to the original recipe due to my ingredients on hand and my preference for cooking pork chops on high and for a short time. I used fresh spinach, which I blanched, rather than the frozen spinach in the original recipe (mainly because it was what I had on hand). I also decided to cook the garlic slightly before adding it to the stuffing. The stuffing doesn't cook, it just heats up which made the fresh garlic too overpowering. The garlic we're currently using is from a friend's farm and quite powerful. I used half the mozzarella than in the original recipe but the next time I'll leave it out completely (unless I make my own mozzarella). I don't feel it added anything except for a pleasant gooeyness. Fresh mozzarella, on the other hand, would've added a nice depth to the dish.
Not the prettiest photo...sorry about that. Thanks to Mama Springs Farm in Durham for the delicious tomatoes, micro greens and pea shoots and to Nourishing Acres for the garlic.
Spinach & Artichoke Stuffed Pork Chops
8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/3 c. sour cream
1/3 c. mayonnaise...I didn't think I'd like the mayonnaise but it really does work nicely
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
10-oz. of spinach blanched (or use frozen spinach)
2-6 cloves garlic, minced (to taste. We're a big garlic family!)
1/3 c. shredded mozzarella (optional)
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan
kosher salt and pepper
4 pork chops...I cooked 5 chops and we still had stuffing left over
2 tbsp. plus 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1. Blanch the spinach then drain.
2. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a skillet. Saute the chopped garlic until lightly brown. Remove from the heat and let cool.
3. Meanwhile in a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, artichoke hearts, spinach, garlic, mozzarella and Parmesan.
4. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels then season with salt and pepper
5. Using a paring knife, cut pockets in the thickest part of the pork chops and stuff with cream cheese mixture.
6. In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbs oil over high heat. Add pork chops and cook until golden brown with an internal temperature of 125 deg F (measure the meat not the filling). Be sure to flip the chops every 2 min to prevent them overcooking.
7. Remove from the pan and tent with foil. Let rest 10 minutes. The chops will continue to cook reaching an internal temp of 145 deg F during the resting period and the filling with heat thoroughly.
8. I served the chops with micro greens, tomatoes and pea shoots. It's what I had on hand after using the spinach in the stuffing:) If I had thought about it ahead of time I would've served them on rice but I was a little too focused on the pork.