It’s been ridiculously hot in NYC this week! Kramer and I have been basically living in front of our fans trying to stay cool and staying outdoors as much as possible because our little apartment definitely doesn’t have the best ventilation. We keep reminding ourselves that it’s worth it, though, because we live in the best city in the entire world! It’s supposed to cool back down into the mid-70s later this week, though, so I’m looking forward to that. I don’t miss the Arizona heat, though, even if it’s a “dry heat”. It’s still much more painful than 85 degrees plus humidity. At least we live on the L train, which has A/C.
Before the weather got so hot, I was still able to use my oven to make these delicious stuffed pork chops. I made some whole wheat honey bread with our bread maker earlier in the week, and I thought it would go well in a pork chop stuffing, along with the natural combination of apples and, of course, bacon. I used some white cheddar cheese, cinnamon, nutmeg, sage, butter, and chicken broth in the stuffing along with the apples, bacon, and bread, and from that bore a wonderful stuffing. The flavors all paired very nicely with one another, and the pork chop itself with juicy and tender. I was a bit worried that Kramer wouldn’t be as pleased with the dish as I was, because he’s usually not one for whole wheat bread or a sweet and savory pairing, but he actually ate everything on his plate! He complimented me on the stuffing specifically, saying that he’d happily eat it on its own, which was a pleasant surprise for me. I agreed, of course, and while I might have liked to use a less sharp cheese, like gruyere, I was still really happy with both the taste and texture of the stuffed chops. These most certainly aren’t your mom’s Shake N’ Bake pork chops. They combine sweet, salty, and crispy in each and every bite, thanks to the apples, butter, and bacon, which makes for an almost definite crowd pleaser. The best part is that they’re relatively simple to make and you’ll more than likely have the ingredients all ready to go! When your friends and family slice into these stuffed chops, believe me, they’ll be more than happy.
Add in four tablespoons of melted butter, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon sage, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, 2 tablespoons cheese, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add in chicken stock until the stuffing is a consistency that you would like; I added about 2 tablespoons and mixed the stuffing with a big spoon until it was malleable enough to stuff into the chops. Taste and add a pinch of salt and pepper, if needed.
Make a pocket in the pork chops by slicing through the side of the chop, leaving about 1/2 to 1/4 of an inch at the base and sides (depending on how big the chops are) to keep the chop stable. Stuff the pork chop as full as you can; I used almost all of my stuffing for the two pork chops that I made. Secure with some toothpicks, if needed.
Heat the olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat, then sear the chops for 3 minutes on each side, until browned. Place the skillet with the pork chops in a 400 degree F oven for 10 minutes or so, until the stuffing is bubbling and the chops are cooked through or reading 160 on a meat thermometer.
- 2 thick cut pork chops
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups whole wheat bread, torn into tiny pieces
- ½ an apple, diced (I didn’t peel mine)
- 4 slices bacon, chopped into very small pieces
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground sage
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons cheese of your choice (I would recommend a mild cheese)
- 1-2 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Rub your pork chops with the oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes (if you’re using them), salt, and pepper. Cut a pocket into the chops, leaving enough room on the sides so the pork chop stays together.
- Dice the bacon and fry. Set aside on paper towels and allow to drain. In a large bowl, add the 2 cups of torn bread and the diced apples. Add in the bacon, then the melted butter, cinnamon, sage, nutmeg, and cheese. Mix everything up with a large spoon and mash a bit with the back of the spoon, adding a tablespoon or two of chicken broth until the consistency is to your liking and wet enough to stuff the chops with.
- Stuff the pork chops as full as possible with the stuffing, securing with toothpicks if needed. I used almost all of my stuffing for these 2 pork chops. Heat the olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet and cook for 4 minutes on each side until browned. Place the pan with the pork chops in the oven for 10 minutes or so, until golden and cooked through, or a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F. Serve with roasted vegetables, potatoes, or a salad.