Saturday, January 28, 2017

Apple, Walnut, Danish Bleu Cheese Cornbread Stuffed Pork Chop with Black Pepper Gravy

     Rich Gourmet Comfort Food For Cold Weather!
     Stuffed Pork Chops have a reputation of being heavy on the tummy.  Because Corn Bread was used to make the stuffing, today's Stuffed Pork Chop turned out to be a little bit lighter than expected, but not by much.  Stuffed Pork Chops definitely are a "sit down and relax for a while after dinner" kind of experience.
     Apple, walnut and Danish Bleu Cheese is a nice combination for a Cornbread Stuffing.  Walnuts add warmth.  Apple sweetens and lightens the stuffing.  Apple also tastes nice with Bleu Cheese.  A small amount of hickory smoked bacon is added just like a seasoning and it gives the stuffing a hint of rustic flavor.  If you like gourmet Stuffed Pork Chops, then this recipe is a must to try!

     Skillet Fried Cornbread: 
     This recipe yields about 2 or 3 spoon-bread style corn cakes.  
     About 1 corn cake will be needed per pork chop.
     When making an old fashioned Colonial American spoon-bread style cornbread batter, the amount of liquid added is usually judged by eye.     
     Step 1:  Place 1/3 cup of corn meal in a mixing bowl.
     Add 3/4 cup of Masa Harina.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt.
     Add 1 pinch of black pepper.
     Mix the dry ingredients together.
     Step 2:  Place 1 tablespoon of whisked egg in a separate mixing bowl.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of bacon grease.
     Add 2 tablespoons of milk.
     Whisk the ingredients together.
     Step 3:  Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture while stirring.
     Stir till a coarse dry looking dough forms.
     Step 4:  Add 1 teaspoon of milk at a time while slowly stirring, till the cornbread batter becomes a smooth dough consistency that is thick enough to easily stand tall when gathered with a spoon.  The dough should be slightly wet and it should be sticky enough to cling to a spoon. 
     Set the wet dough aside for 15 minutes.
     *The corn meal will soak up some of the excess moisture and the dough will look a little bit firmer.
     Step 5:  Pre-heat a cast iron skillet over medium/medium low heat.
     Add enough vegetable oil, so the oil is about 1/4" deep.
     Adjust the temperature, so the oil is 350ºF.
     Step 6:  Spoon 2 or 3 large dollops (2 1/2 to 3 ounces apiece) of the cornbread dough into the hot oil.  Be sure to leave some space between each dollop.
     Use a spatula or large spoon to press the cornbread dough, so it forms a flat oval shape that is about 3/8" thick.
     Step 7:  Pan fry the cornbread till the bottom side is fully cooked and golden brown.
     Flip the cornbread with a spatula and cook the other side till it turns golden brown.
     Set the corn bread on a wire screen roasting rack over a drip pan to drain off any excess oil.

     Apple, Walnut, Danish Bleu Cheese Cornbread Stuffing:
     This recipe yields a little more than 1 cup.  (Enough for 1 pork chop.) 
     Step 1:  Cut some of the pan fried cornbread into medium size pieces.  (About 2/3 cup is needed.)    
     Place the cornbread in a mixing bowl.
     Set the mixing bowl aside.
     Step 2:  Heat a small sauce pot over medium low heat.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of finely chopped hickory smoked bacon.
     Gently sauté till the bacon is a light golden brown color.
     Step 3:  Add 1 tablespoon of small chopped celery.
     Add 1 tablespoon of small chopped onion.
     Add 2 tablespoons of peeled seeded chopped apple.
     Gently sauté for 1 minute.
     Step 4:  Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth.
     Add 1 pinch of thyme.
     Add 1 pinch of marjoram.
     Add 1 pinch of sage.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
     Gently simmer and reduce till all of the liquid evaporates.
     Step 5:  Remove the pot from the heat.
     Add the apple, bacon and vegetable mixture to the cornbread in the mixing bowl.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of chopped toasted walnuts.
     Add 2 pinches of chopped Italian Parsley.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of thin sliced chives.
     Add 1 tablespoon of whisked egg.
     Add 1 tablespoon of small Danish Bleu Cheese pieces.
     *Danish Bleu is a soft cheese, so it will not crumble.  Just cut small dabs with a knife. 
     Step 6:  Add just enough chicken broth to moisten the cornbread mixture.  (2 to 3 tablespoons is plenty.)
     Gently toss the ingredients together.  (The cornbread will crumble while the ingredients are mixed and this is okay.)
     Set the stuffing aside.

     Apple, Walnut, Danish Bleu Cheese Cornbread Stuffed Pork Chop:
     This recipe yields 1 large stuffed pork chop.
     Step 1:  Select a thick 8 ounce to 10 ounce pork chop that has the rib bone attached.
     Butterfly cut the loin meat all the way to the bone.
     Step 2:  Place a generous amount of the Apple, Walnut, Danish Bleu Cheese Cornbread Stuffing in the pork chop pocket, but do not pack the stuffing too tight.
     Try to keep the stuffing even with the edge of the pork chop.
     Step 3:  Place the stuffed pork chop on a wire screen roasting rack on a roasting pan.
     Brush the stuffed pork chop with melted unsalted butter.
     Season the stuffed pork chop with sea salt and black pepper.
     Step 4:  Place the pan in a 325ºF oven.
     Roast till the pork chop is fully cooked and the stuffing reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165ºF.  The stuffing should be toasted to a light golden brown color on the exposed edge.
     Keep the stuffed pork chop warm on a stove top.
     *The sauce can be made while the stuffed pork chop bakes.

     Black Pepper Pork Gravy:
     This recipe yields about 1 cup.  (Enough for 3 or 4 portions.)
     This is a simple Pork Velouté Sauce with a generous amount of black pepper added!
     Adding the black pepper late in the recipe will enhance the flavor.  Timing is important when adding black pepper!
     Step 1:  Heat a sauce pot over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add an equal amount of flour while constantly stirring with a whisk, to make a roux.  (The roux should look shiny, not dull and caky.)
     Constantly stir, till the roux becomes a blonde color.
     Step 3:  Add 1 1/2 cups of pork broth.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt.
     Whisk occasionally as the sauce heats and thickens to a very thin consistency.
     Bring the gravy to a gentle boil.
     Step 4:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Gently simmer and reduce till the gravy is a medium thin sauce consistency.
     Step 5:  Add 1/4 teaspoon of table grind black pepper.
     Keep the gravy warm over very low heat or in a 135ºF bain marie.

     Apple, Walnut, Danish Bleu Cheese Cornbread Stuffed Pork Chop with Black Pepper Gravy:
     This recipe yields 1 entrée.
     Step 1:  Place the Pork Chop with Apple, Walnut, Danish Bleu Cheese Cornbread Stuffing and Black Pepper Gravy the pork chop on a plate.
     Pour about 3 or 4 tablespoons of the Black Pepper Gravy on the plate around the stuffed pork chop.
     Step 2:  Serve with a vegetable of your choice.  (No potato or starchy vegetable is needed.)
     *The entrée in the photos was served with Stewed Sweet Snap Peas and Tomato seasoned with Herbes de Provence.

     This rich tasting stuffed pork chop is perfect for a cold winter day!

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