Stuffing foods, and particularly meats, has been around through the millennia. The oldest cookbook that we have is by Apicius, a Roman gourmet who lived some time around the 2nd century BC to the 1st century AD. In his cookbook ‘Apicius de re Coquinaria’, he has recipes for stuffed chicken, hare, pig, and even stuffed dormouse. Most of these early stuffings were of vegetables, herbs, nuts, spelt* and frequently, chopped liver, brains, etc. Stuffing foods is just as popular today as it was back in Apicius’ time. There are endless possibilities. All you have to do is use your imagination and creativity to come up with a delicious stuffed delicacy.
I had just a little bit of my spicy artichoke dip left the needed to be used up. Spicy Artichoke and Sausage Dip It was just the perfect amount to make some stuffed pork chops with. Lately, we have been buying a big pork loin and we cut our own pork chops from that. We like to make them nice and thick, which makes them just perfect for stuffing. I could have very easily just had the stuffed pork chops, but being the saucy girl that I am, I needed a sauce to add to the meat as well. I made a lemon, mint and caper sauce that went very well with the pork and the artichoke dip. To make the meal complete, I served it over a wild rice casserole with some warmed bread and a sparkling chardonnay. YUM!
I started off by searing the pork chops, just until they were browned on both sides. Then I slit them down the middle and made a pocket for the filling. You want to use a sharp, serrated knife.
Once the pockets were made, I filled them with as much of the filling as they would hold. Then I placed them all in a baking pan sprayed with cooking spray and topped them with the sauce. You can stuff these with any kind of filling you like.
Preheat the oven to 375* F or 190*C.
Then I made the sauce, which was very easy to make, and poured it over the pork chops.
Lemon, Mint Caper Sauce
3 TBSP olive oil
about 2 TBSP chopped mint
1 tsp lemon zest
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP capers (I also included some of the juice)
Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and capers. Pour the sauce over the pork chops. It will also go well over chicken, seafood and pasta too.
Add the pine nuts and the Parmigiano cheese. Once the pork chops were filled and topped with sauce, it was time to finish cooking them. I roasted them in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the pork chops reached about 160* F.
Once the meat is completely cooked, serve it with your choice of side dishes. I served it over a wild rice casserole this time. I spooned a little of the sauce over the meat just before serving it.
You all know how much I just loving using up leftovers, and I really love dressing them up in different ways than when they were “firstovers”. This was a very easy, delicious way of dressing up those leftovers too. My favorite part of cooking, especially when using up leftovers, is being creative and coming up with new ways to serve them. As I always say, feel free to play with your food. Have fun! 🙂
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.