Saturday, February 18, 2012

stuffed pork chops michael symon would be proud of.

has anyone seen that new show called "the chew"?

i love it.

but shoot. i think confessing to loving a daytime talk show is probably the first step to becoming an old cat lady! nooo!

anyways... it's awesome. it's got clinton kelly (fab!), mario batali (iron chef #1), carla hall (i've never heard of her before the show, but she's basically hilarious), daphne oz (daughter of dr. oz, weirdly enough), and michael symon (iron chef #2!). they are so funny and make some delicious looking food, too!

the reason i mention this is because michael symon could probably be considered a pork connoisseur and i wish i could make these pork chops for him. because man, are they good!

so these were the main entree for my dinner party that included that crazy valentine's cake for dessert. i think the funniest part of this whole party was that i wasn't even there for it. i had to make everything ahead of time with strict instructions on finishing everything. from cooking times to what plates they should go on to how to garnish it. i wanted it to seem like i had been there, even though i wasn't. and because i had no end product pictures, i even left my camera asking to take pictures for me.

when i got home that night, my sometimes-technically-challenged parents said that they took pictures for me, much to my surprise. super pumped to see what they looked like, i turned on my camera.

not to my surprise, the most recent picture was one that i took right before i left.

all of their friends who were over for the dinner party chimed in, "we saw them take the pictures!"

what? don't get me wrong, i believe them. but no cameras take pictures and just automatically delete them upon turning the camera off. and my camera is slightly confusing when it comes to deleting pictures so it's not like they could've bumped the "erase all recent pictures" button.

nevertheless, here they are. smoked gouda and bacon stuffed pork chops.

ohh yeah.

the first thing i did was get my filling ready.

almost 3/4 of a pound of smoked gouda, shredded (keep in mind this is for 10 servings)...

couple tablespoons of fresh, chopped parsley...

and a good looking, full pound of crushed up and crispy bacon.

i just mixed it all up and set it aside until my pork chops were ready. ohh, the aromas are already intoxicating. bacon... hellooo?

and not to keep michael symon waiting, on to the pork chops.

i started with some bone-in, 1-inch thick pork chops and sliced a stuffing pocket into them. the easiest way to do this is to put one hand on the pork, flat on a cutting board and then take your sharp knife in to  the pork as parallel as you can to the board.

then, just keep slicing through until you're about 1/2 an inch away from the bone.

woo hoo! the hard part of stuffing pork chops is done! well, i guess you have to do like 2 or 3 more for your family or roommates. or you have like 10 more if you're doing it for a dinner party :)

 once you're all sliced and ready to go, take about two tablespoons of the filling and smash it into those beautiful pita-like pork pockets.

and if two tablespoons doesn't do it, just keep stuffing it in there.

the more cheesy, bacony, melty goodness, the better.

seal it all up with a toothpick or two and call it a day!

...or a raw pork chop stuffed with cold cheese and bacon.

so fire up the grill!

or the grill pan, as i did.

brush each pork chop with a little canola oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and let those babies sizzle away! (to get those awesome grill marks, just turn them like 45 degrees after a couple minutes). let them go about 4-5 mintes per side.

i flipped them over and did the same on the other side.

now at this point they're not cooked all the way through. so for my dinner party later that night, i just put them in 13x9 pans with a little chicken broth (so they wouldn't dry out) and sealed them off for the refrigerator. but if i were making them right away, i would simply put them in a pan and finish them off in the oven for about 15 minutes or so.

speaking of finishing them off, you'll just have to imagine these being pulled out of the oven.
juices seeping out of the pork.
cheese oozing out of the middle.
bacon sizzling and crispy.
grill marks dark and caramelized.
that's almost as good as a picture, right?

not to mention they taste even better. ho hum yum.

Smoked Gouda and Bacon Stuffed Pork Chops

4 bone-in, 1-inch thick pork chops
4 oz. smoked Gouda, shredded
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
Canola oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat grill or grill pan to medium high.

Mix the Gouda, parsley and bacon in a medium mixing bowl and set aside. Slice pockets into the larger side of the pork chops. Stuff 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture into the pork chops and weave in toothpick to keep most of the mixture from oozing out.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brush each chop with a little canola oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and sear on the grill or grill pan for about 4-5 minutes per side. (For cross grill marks, turn the pork 45 degrees after 2 or 3 minutes.)

To finish the cooking, roast them in the oven for about 15 minutes. (If these will be refrigerated and cooked later, bump up the cooking time to about 25 minutes.)

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