Hye Thyme Cafe: Dressed-Up Pork Chops

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Dressed-Up Pork Chops

Dressed-Up Pork Chops : Hye Thyme Cafe

I pirated a pork chop dish that my sister makes to twist it up a bit and make my own version. I love that the apple adds a sweetness, while you get a crunch with the water chestnuts, and the brightness of the orange permeates throughout.  

6-8 pork chops
salt and pepper
4T butter
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 lg sweet onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 small crisp apples, diced
1 orange
1/2 bunch parsley
1 can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1 T white balsamic
1 box classic stuffing
1 1/2 - 2 c chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350.

Trim the fat from the chops and season on both sides with salt and pepper.

Using a bit of cooking spray, a little olive oil, or melting down a piece of the fat you trimmed from your chops, sear on both sides, then remove from heat and set aside.

To that same pan, add the butter and return to heat, loosening up all the bits on the bottom as the butter melts down. Four tablespoons of butter may seem like a lot, but you will not be adding butter to the stuffing mix later, so it actually turns out to be a lot less than you would have been using for traditional stuffing.

Add the celery, onion, and garlic, cooking until the onions are translucent and starting to soften.

Add the apple pieces and give those a minute to sweat a bit before zesting the orange over the pan and slicing the orange in half, squeezing in the juice from one of the halves. Set the other aside.

Stir in the parsley and water chestnuts and continue to cook for a few minutes until the apples start to soften.

Stir in the balsamic at the end for a bit of acid and brightness. If you don't have balsamic but do have white wine, you could use that instead.

Either butter or spray a large baking dish and pour in the stuffing mix. To the stuffing, stir in the 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth, then the veggie mixture. Once that is mixed, you can see whether you want to add the additional 1/2 c of chicken broth or whether you have enough liquid already. It will depend on how far you cooked down the veggies, how much juice your apples give off, etc.

Arrange the chops over the stuffing mixture and pour over any juices that may have accumulated while the chops rested.

Squeeze the remaining orange half directly over the chops and bake at 350 until cooked through. The time will vary depending on how long you cooked them in the pan and how thick the chops are.  

If the chops are cooked through before your dressing has browned and you prefer your dressing more crusty, no problem! Remove the chops and tent them loosely with foil to stay warm while they rest, then crank up the temp and and put the dressing back in to brown. If you're using a pan that can withstand high heat, you can turn on the broiler for a minute or two.

Serve up a chop over a bed of the dressing and garnish with additional chopped parsley.

Dressed-Up Pork Chops : Hye Thyme Cafe

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