We’ve long been a fan of apple stuffed pork chops.  But sometimes we don’t have cooking apples on hand and besides, we wanted to cut down on prep time—make a busy day meal.  So we decided to try apple filling instead of coring, peeling, and slicing apples and then sautéing them.  It made it super fast to the oven, like 20 minutes from start to finish.  They can also be made on the stovetop or on the grill.  Here’s how:

  1. Split the pork chops.  We’ll tell you how in the directions below.  Season the chops with pepper and salt.
  2. Mix up the stuffing.  We started with apple filling add added a bit of grated cheddar cheese.  We threw in some chopped nuts—we wanted walnuts but Brazil nuts were handy—and a few cranberries.  But we thought the filling was too intense.  We added some panko bread crumbs to reduce the sweetness of the filling.  It was just right.
  3. We filled the pork chops and pinned them closed with toothpicks.
  4. We baked them for 45 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees.  We could have cooked them on the grill or in a frying pan.  That’s all there was too it.

What You’ll Need:

  1. 4 boneless pork chops.  They should be about 3/4-inch thick.  That is thick enough to split and yet thin enough that they will cook quickly on the grill or in the kitchen.
  2. Apple filling.  We used our apple pastry filling and it was perfect.  It’s better than canned filling, you can squeeze out just what you need, and save the rest in your refrigerator for up to 90 days.  Besides, it costs less.
  3. Dry cranberries.  Most store-bought dry cranberries are partially juiced and then soaked in a hot corn syrup bath to plump them up.  We found a processor that uses a European patent to cold process cranberries.  They are never juiced.  We more juice and all of the pulp, they are brighter and more flavorful.

Apple Stuffed Pork Chops

4 boneless pork chops, 3/4-inch thick
salt and pepper
1/2 cup apple filling
1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons dry cranberries
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup panko Japanese bread crumbs or other bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter

Directions

  1. With a fillet or other thin-bladed knife, cut the pockets in the pork chops.  To do so, place the pork chops on a cutting board.  Holding the knife parallel to the board, cut a pocket into the pork, starting from the fatty side and going nearly all the way through but leaving the sides intact and the opening small.  Salt and pepper the inside pockets.  Set aside.
  2. Mix the filling.  Stir together the apple filling, grated cheese, cranberries, nuts, and bread crumbs.
  3. Stuff about 1/3 cup of the dressing into the pork chops, reserving any that does not fit into the pockets.  Push the dressing far into the pocket of each pork chop with the dressing pushed away from the opening.  Push two toothpicks diagonally through the outer edges of the pork chop to secure the opening.  Salt and pepper the outsides of the pork chops.
  4. You can now cook the pork chops on the grill, in a skillet, in the oven.  To cook the pork chops in a skillet, cook them in butter for about six to eight minutes on each side or until done.  To cook them on the grill, brush the pork chops with oil and then cook them for four to eight minutes on each side over medium heat.  To bake them in the oven, place the pork chops on a lightly oiled baking sheet (or on a rack on a baking sheet if you would like to keep the pork chops out of the pan juices).  Cover the pan with aluminum foil and tightly press the foil around the edges to trap steam and keep the chops from drying out.  Bake for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

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