Pork Chops with Sage and Honeycrisp Apple Stuffing Recipe

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pork_chops_sageIn Susan Selasky’s Detroit Free Press article, she wrote, “Some people wouldn’t dream of cooking with Honeycrisp apples because they are best eaten out of hand. But for this recipe I wanted to capture those sweet Honeycrisp juices to add moisture and flavor to the stuffing and sweetness to the cream sauce.”

The only thing I would try differently with this recipe is to substitute dried cherries for the optional golden raisins. Dried cherries are an excellent complement to both pork and stuffing, and impart much more flavor than raisins. As John likes to say, “they make ordinary stuffing an event!”

Stuffing
• 1 tablespoon canola oil
• 1/3 cup diced onion
• 1/3 cup diced celery
• 2 cups dried bread cubes (or small croutons)
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1/2 cup diced apple
• 1/4 cup golden raisins (or dried cherries), optional
• 2 tablespoons fresh chopped sage leaves or 2 teaspoons rubbed sage
• 1/4 cup vegetable broth or chicken broth

Pork
• 4 bone-in pork chops (at least 1-inch-thick), about 2 pounds trimmed of fat
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 2 tablespoons canola oil
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped pecans
• 1 large apple (such as Honeycrisp), peeled, diced
• 1/2 cup fat-free or regular half-and-half mixed with 1 teaspoon cornstarch
• 1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
To make the stuffing: In a large skillet, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Scrape into a bowl and add the bread cubes, salt and pepper, apple, raisins if using, and sage.
Lightly moisten with the broth, mix thoroughly and set aside.
To prepare the pork: Cut a 2-inch-wide slit in the side of the chop opposite the bone, cutting almost but not all the way through, making a pocket. Evenly divide the stuffing mixture and stuff it in each chop. Do not overstuff the chops or the stuffing will fall out. You may have some left over that you can serve on the side. You can secure the pocket closed with toothpicks if needed.
Season both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chops and brown on one side, about 3 minutes. Carefully turn and brown on the other side. Transfer pork chops (set skillet aside) to a baking dish and cover with foil. Bake about 40 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chops, or until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 155 degrees. Remove from oven and keep covered.
In the same skillet the chops were browned in, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the pecans and saute 2 minutes. Add the diced apple and saute until it caramelizes. Reduce the heat slightly and slowly whisk in the half-and-half and maple syrup.
Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the sauce with some of the diced apples and pecans over each pork chop and serve.

Per serving: 398 calories (57 percent from fat ), 25 g fat (6 g saturated fat ), 25 g carbohydrates , 19 g protein , 396 mg sodium , 61 mg cholesterol ,3 g fiber.

recipe courtesy of Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press.

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