24 November 2012

Pork Chops (or Chicken) Stuffed w/ Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Spinach

This is a re-post from my old blog. We really liked this recipe, so I thought I would share it again. It sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn't - and the results are worth every minute you spend making it!

I saw Giada De Laurentiis make this and it looked soooo good, I had to try it. Trust me, it was delicious!! And the filling is great with chicken as well as pork!!


Pork Chops or Chicken Stuffed w/ Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Spinach

Ingredients :
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 sun-dried tomatoes, diced
1 (10-ounce) bag of frozen spinach, thawed and excess water squeezed out
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup (2 ounces) goat cheese
1/3 cup reduced-fat cream cheese
4 (4-ounce) center-cut pork chops
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 lemon, zested
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Directions:
Warm the 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, salt, pepper, and thyme. Cook until combined, about 2 more minutes. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Add the goat cheese and the cream cheese. Stir to combine and set aside.

Use a sharp knife to cut a pocket into the thickest portion of the pork chop. Stuff each pocket with 1/4 of the spinach and sun-dried tomato mixture and close the pork around the stuffing. Season the outside of the pork with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl combine the chicken broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, and mustard.

Warm the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot add the pork. Cook until golden and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the pork to a side dish and tent with foil to keep warm. Add the chicken broth mixture to the skillet over medium-high heat. Scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan as the chicken broth simmers. Reduce the broth by half to make a light sauce, about 8 minutes. Spoon some sauce over the pork before serving.
__________

Since I'm supposed to eat fat-free as much as possible, I replaced the reduced-fat cream cheese with fat-free cream cheese. Honestly, we couldn't tell at all. The texture was still creamy & the goat cheese gives it a lot of flavor.

Another thing - if you use thicker pork or chicken, it can take a long time for the meat to cook (way more than the 4 minutes per side that the recipe states). Then when you cook it that long, the filling starts to come out. I tried opening the meat after I sliced the pocket & placing that face-down on the pan to partially cook it. That definitely helped. But I think next time I will try to use meat that is slightly thinner.

I have some pictures, but they're of chicken, not pork (I've made both and they're equally good!):


(adapted from Giada De Laurentiis - see original recipe here)