Pork Chops Stuffed With Pine Nuts And Herbs

By Susie Middleton   |   Tuesday, December 20, 2011
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butternut squash stew

Pork chops make for great weeknight eating, but they’re even better when you stuff them with a quick, sweet-and-savory riff on pesto. It comes together in seconds in the food processor, and the finished dish is on your table in less than 30 minutes.

Serves: 6


6 center-cut, bone-in pork loin chops (1-1/4 inches to 1-1/2 inches thick)
1/2 cup fresh mint
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/3 cup fresh tarragon
1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano (1/4 oz.)
5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium cloves garlic, peeled
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup golden raisins
1 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces


Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F.

With a sharp knife, make a horizontal slit in each pork chop to create a 3-1/2-inch-long pocket.

In a food processor, combine the mint, parsley, tarragon, pecorino, 3 Tbs. of the oil, the garlic, lemon zest, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Pulse until finely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the pine nuts and pulse until the nuts are roughly chopped. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup pine nuts and the raisins. Season the insides of the pockets with salt and pepper and stuff with the filling. Secure the pockets with toothpicks. Season the outside of the meat generously with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Sear 3 of the pork chops on both sides until well browned, about 6 minutes total; transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining 1 Tbs. oil and the remaining pork chops. Top each chop with a piece of butter and roast in the oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork chops registers 145°F, 10 to 12 minutes. Discard the toothpicks and serve drizzled with the pan juice.

Nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 440; Fat (g): 33; Fat Calories (kcal): 300; Saturated Fat (g): 7; Protein (g): 25; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 15; Carbohydrates (g): 11; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 8; Sodium (mg): 230; Cholesterol (mg): 65; Fiber (g): 1;

susie middleton

Susie Middleton is editor at large for Fine Cooking magazine.

Valentine's Day Recipes

Wednesday, April 27, 2011
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Heat things up this Valentine’s Day with these decadent chocolate recipes from America’s Test Kitchen:

Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Chocolate Chewies
Chocolate-Raspberry Torte

Join Chris Kimball and the test cooks on America’s Test Kitchen as they solve everyday cooking problems and bring you useful equipment reviews, trusted taste tests, and foolproof recipes. 

Mediterranean Pork Chops
By Annie Copps

Wednesday, June 1, 2011
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pork chops

Pork has come a long way in recent years, so don't look to your grandmother's old cookbook for a recipe. If you do, chances are you will overcook the meat ending up with tough chops. These days most people like to cook pork to a medium pink—I like to lightly dust the chops with flour before cooking which helps protect the meat when you sear it.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Start to Finish Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

4 1/2-inch-thick pork chops
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup dried tomatoes, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
2 tablespoons capers
1 14-ounce jar whole artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and halved
3 to 4 cups hot cooked couscous or rice

Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper; dredge in flour and shake off excess.

Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.

Add chops and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until browned.

Remove chops; tent with foil to keep warm.

Add broth, tomatoes, olives, capers, and artichoke hearts to pan and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.

Spoon over pork chops and hot cooked couscous or rice.

(Courtesy: Yankee Magazine)
annie coppsAnnie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

Maple, Apple, And Onion Smothered Pork Chops By Annie Copps

Tuesday, April 19, 2011
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Maple, Apple, and Onion Smothered Pork Chops in white bowl

I love pork chops and find them really versatile. I use them in a lot of my cooking repertoire. For this recipe, I use bone-in chops for lots of flavor and thinly cut chops, so that they don't take long to cook. And for today's recipe we are going to quick-braise them using truly New England ingredients. Ring the dinner bell. Delicious.

Yield: 6 servings

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 bone-in, pork chops, 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick
kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
5 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 or 5 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups apple cider
3 cups chicken stock
¼ cup maple syrup
3 firm apples, such as Honeycrisp, peeled, cored and cut into 8 wedges
Juice of 1 lemon

Pat pork chops dry with a paper towel and season on both sides with salt and pepper. In a large saute pan with a lid, over medium high heat, add oil and brown chops on both sides; about 3 minutes per side.

Remove chops to a plate.

Lower heat to medium and add onions.

Stir onions often, cooking until softened and browned around the edges, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, thyme, and bay leaves; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add apple cider, chicken stock, and maple syrup, scraping up any browned bits on pan bottom and bring to a boil.

Lower to simmer. Stir in the apples and return chops to pan, nestling them into the onions and apples.

Cover and cook about 15 minutes (pork will be cooked through and tender).

Arrange chops on serving plates.

Remove thyme stems and bay leaves, and raise heat to high, cooking until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cover chops with sauce and serve immediately.
annie coppsAnnie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

Cornbread And Sausage Stuffing

By Susie Middleton   |   Thursday, November 10, 2011
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redbacking dish full of cornbread and sausage stuffing

Everyone has their favorite stuffing recipe for Thanksgiving, and this is one of mine. It's got not-too-sweet crumbles of cornbread, Italian sausage, and lots of fresh herbs – delicious!

This stuffing is delicious when cooked inside the bird, we like this simple, juicy roast turkey. If you plan to cook the stuffing separately, follow the instructions below, it can be cooked in the same oven or at the same temperature as your turkey.

Tip: For a stuffing with a bit of heat, use hot Italian sausage or even chorizo.

Yields 12 to 14 cups

3/4 lb. sweet Italian sausage (without casings), cut in small chunks
3 to 4 Tbs. rendered bacon fat or butter, if needed
2 cups chopped onion
1-1/2 cups finely chopped celery, including leaves
1-1/2 cups finely chopped bell pepper, preferably a mix of red and green
2 Tbs. finely chopped garlic
1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 recipe Basic Cornbread, crumbled
1 cup chopped scallion
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup snipped fresh chives
Freshly ground black pepper
Turkey stock or homemade or low-salt chicken broth as needed

In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add enough rendered bacon fat or butter to the pan to get about 5 Tbs. total fat. Add the onion, celery, peppers, garlic, thyme, red pepper flakes, and salt. Cook briefly until the onion is softened. With a wooden spoon, scrape up any browned bits in the pan. Combine in a large bowl with the crumbled cornbread, scallions, parsley, chives, and pepper. Toss to combine.

If cooking in a turkey, put the stuffing in the bird just before roasting. Pack the stuffing loosely, leaving enough room to fit your whole extended hand into the bird's cavity. Cook the stuffing in the bird to 160º to 165ºF, checking with an instant-read thermometer. If the bird is done before the stuffing is, take the bird out of the oven, spoon the stuffing into a casserole dish, and continue to bake it while the turkey rests. If baking some or all of the stuffing in a casserole, pour a cup or two of stock over the stuffing to replace the juices the stuffing would have absorbed from the bird. Bake it covered until heated through, 45 minutes to 1 hour. For a crunchy top, uncover it for the last 15 minutes of baking.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : per 1/2 cup stuffing; Calories (kcal): 110; Fat (g): 6; Fat Calories (kcal): 50; Saturated Fat (g): 3; Protein (g): 4; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2; Carbohydrates (g): 11; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 450; Cholesterol (mg): 20; Fiber (g): 1

Reviews of this recipe on Fine Cooking

Susie Middleton is editor at large for Fine Cooking magazine.

Thai Curried Clams and Chorizo
By Ming Tsai

Monday, August 9, 2010
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Not only do I look to the East and the West for sources of inspiration, I also look to the past for great ingredients about which we may have forgotten…like buttermilk, which used to be a staple in American kitchens. It’s not only a lighter alternative to cream, but also to Asian coconut milk, as I’ll show you today with my Thai Curried Clams and Chorizo. It’s a great one-pot-meal that features a clams and sausage combo that’s well-loved in both the East and West.

Serves 4

1 1/2 cups 1/4-inch-dice chorizo or 1/4 pound ground sausage
2 large leeks, white part julienned
2 pounds cockles or small littleneck clams, purged overnight in water/cornmeal/pinch of salt solution
3 tablespoons red Thai curry paste
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup buttermilk
Juice of 2 limes
2 cups cooked orzo
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Canola oil

In a stock pot coated lightly with oil over medium-high heat, add chorizo, leeks, cockles (discard any open cockles), and curry paste, and sauté about 2 minutes, then season. Deglaze with wine and cover; cook for 6-8 minutes. Add buttermilk, lime juice, and orzo, stir to combine and check for seasoning. Serve, discarding any unopened cockles.

Drink recommendation
Chateau Villa Bel-Air Blanc, Bordeaux, France

Taste: Rich and complex with white fruit and caramel flavors.
Aroma: Honey mixed with smoky notes
60% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Semillon

Chef Ming Tsai is the host and executive producer of public television series Simply Ming. Each week, Simply Ming brings mouthwatering recipes inspired by the combination of East and West into homes across the nation.

About the Author
Susie Middleton Susie Middleton
Susie Middleton is editor at large for Fine Cooking magazine and the author of veggie cookbooks Fast, Fresh & Green and The Fresh & Green Table.

Follow her on Twitter at @sixburnersue


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