Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Apple, Bacon, Sage and Fontina Stuffed Pork Chops

I had lots of things in the fridge I had to use last week. It was time to get experimental.

A couple gala apples, fresh ginger and fontina cheese.  Time to stuff some pork chops with wonderful fall flavor and fresh herbs, just another version of my Blue Cheese, Grape and Rosemary Stuffed Pork Chops.
I began chopping 2 apples.
Some fresh ginger and shallots.
and some wonderful fresh sage from our herb garden.
Then I fried a few pieces of bacon in my cast iron skillet until crisp, removed them to drain on paper towels leaving some of the dripping in the pan. 
I sauteed the apples in the bacon grease, then added the shallots and ginger.  I have to admit, the aroma was incredible!  Once the apple were softened, I transferred this wonderful combination to a large bowl and stirred in the sage and cubed fontina cheese.  I crumbled the bacon on top and gave it all a good stir.  
I cut slits into the pork chops, stuffed them with the mixture and sprinkled them with some salt and pepper.  
I like to stuff mine full and choose not to secure with toothpicks.  Instead I carefully sear them on both side in my skillet.
I tossed in some cubed red potatoes and sprinkled around any extra "stuffing".  Since everything is done in my cast iron skillet, I pop it all in the oven to bake for about 30 minutes.  This really helps flavor everything and really cuts down on the dishes.  If you don't have a cast iron skillet, you can use any ovenproof skillet or if your skillet is not ovenproof, after browning the pork chops, transfer them to a ovenproof dish and then add the potatoes and extra stuffing.  
These are wonderful reheated, potatoes and all.

Apple, Bacon, Sage and Fontina Stuffed Pork Chops
(print recipe)

6 bacon slices
2 Gala Smith apples, peeled and diced
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 cup fontina cheese, cubed
4 boneless pork chops
1 1/8 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 red potatoes, scrubbed and cubed

Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon, and set aside.
Sauté the chopped apples, shallots, and ginger in hot drippings 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat; stir in sage.
Stir together apple mixture, bacon, and cheese in a bowl. Do not clean the pan.
Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each pork chop, cutting to, but not through, other side to form a pocket. Sprinkle both sides and pocket of each pork chop with salt and pepper. Spoon apple mixture into pockets.  Reserve any extra "stuffing".
Sear pork chops,in same skillet apple mixture was sauteed in over medium-high heat 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until golden. (You may need to add some additional olive oil).  Surround with cubed potatoes, sprinkle with some salt and pepper and  drop the extra "stuffing" over potatoes
Bake at 425° for 25 to 30 minutes or until done.


the food dude said...

These are awesome pork chops, the apples, cheese and bacon provides some interesting flavors to the chops. Great recipe!

Eating Deliciously said...

I love the combo of pork chops and apples. Your recipe really takes it to the next level with the addition of fontina, sage, and bacon. Can't wait to try this recipe!

healthyfoodietravels said...

Oh wow, I've never stuffed pork chops in my life, but this sounds like a must try! I'm not a huge bacon fan, but apple and sage sounds like a wonderful idea. Do you think this would taste good with serrano ham or something similar?

icancookthat said...

This sounds perfect for a fall dinner, thanks for sharing!

Lacy said...

MMMMmmmm! This sounds amazing! And looks fantastic, I can almost smell it cooking. Yum!

Cucina49 said...

I love creating recipes with things left in the fridge--risotto and fried rice are perfect things to do with those kinds of leftovers. This looks wonderful!

Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. said...

I can't think of a better filling for those pork chops! Love what you did with all those leftover ingredients!

Ann said...

Wow! You are creative! When I see something like that in my fridge - I ask hubby if he wants to snack on an apple & cheese while I fry up a pork chop!

Julie at Burnt Carrots said...

This looks super yummy! I just made something with apples and sage and couldn't believe how good the combination is. I'm def going to add this one to the list. Thanks!!

Christine's Pantry said...

Perfect dinner. Yum!

Shari said...

Thanks for all the fantastic comments on this post. Ann, yours especially made me smile. Healthyfoodietravels, I don't see any reason why you could not substitute Serrano ham or pancetta for the bacon. You just may have to add a little oil when you saute the apples and all. Cucina49, I like your idea of using fried rice to finish up some of the leftovers, especially with some hot and sour soup!

Carrie's Experimental Kitchen said...

I bet these tasted great Shari! I love the combination of apple, sage and any cheese in pork chops. :)