I don't know why, but I always thought of "stuffed pork chops" as something that requires a lot of skills and time... and for that reason, I never made it before! Last weekend I was looking for something more challenging that my usual dishes, so I decided to tackle this "difficult" task and make some stuffed pork chops for dinner. Well, let me tell you.... easy-peasy, no special skills required dish! Who knew?! I was so surprised how quick and effortless the dish was, the "hardest" part was to make sure the the stuffing won't explode all over your shirt if you squeeze it too hard (don't squeeze it too hard, trust me on that!!!). Here is the recipe for pork chops stuffed with cream cheese/mushrooms/spinach deliciousness (serves 4):
* 4 bone-in pork chops (1.5 inch thick)
* 4 oz cream cheese
* 4 oz mushrooms, finely chopped
* 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
* 2 tbsp olive oil
* 4 tbsp butter
* salt and pepper
1. In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil and saute mushrooms until soft (5 minutes). Add chopped spinach, season with salt and pepper and cook until spinach is wilted, 4-5 minutes. Transfer into a bowl, add cream cheese and mix everything until combined and smooth. Set aside and let it cool.
2. To cut pockets in the pork chops, insert the point of a small and sharp knife horizontally into the edge on the opposite side of the bone. Gently move the knife back and forth inside of the chop to create deep pocket, but without making the "opening" any bigger. Make sure you do not cut through or pierce the meat.
3. Transfer stuffing into a small piping bag (or a zip-lock bag), cut the corner off and gently squeeze it in the pork chop pocket. Pinch the opening to seal it.
4. In a large skillet, heat the remaining olive oil and butter, season pork chops with salt and pepper and sear them on both sides until golden brown (4-5 minutes on each side).
5. Transfer chops into a baking dish, add the olive oil/butter grease into the baking dish (you can add 2-3 tbsp of water if there is not enough "juices"), cover with foil and bake at 365F for 30-35 minutes or until the temperature inside the chop reaches 145F.
I think my biggest fear was under- or over-cooking the meat, so I kept checking the temperature once in a while, but it turned out awesome. Very tender and flavorful meat with a creamy, savory filling and delicious sauce that forms kind of by "accident". I served it with mashed potatoes and broccoli and it just hit all the right spots... for all three of us!