Cranberry-Apricot Stuffed Pork Chops
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
- 2 rounded tablespoons whole almonds, toasted and chopped
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted and crushed
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- Four 2-inch-thick rib pork chops
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup Calvados, Cognac, or brandy
- 1 cup chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Put the dried fruit in a small bowl. Pour 1/4 cup boiling water over the fruit and set aside for 10 minutes to soften. Drain, reserve the soaking water. In a mini-processor process the fruit with the nuts, butter, fennel and half the shallot until finely chopped. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a small sealable plastic bag or pastry bag. Snip about a 1/2-inch opening in the corner of the plastic bag.
With a small paring knife, make a pocket starting from rounded side of each chop. Set the tip of the bag inside the pocket and press a quarter of the stuffing into the chop. Repeat with the remaining chops and filling.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Pat the chops dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Brown one side of the chops, until well browned about 5 minutes. Use tongs to hold the chops and sear the edges of the chops. Turn and brown the other sides of the chops, about 2 minutes. Transfer the chops to a baking sheet and bake until an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the chops registers 135 degrees F, about 15 minutes.
While the chops are in the oven make the sauce. Drain the oil from the saute pan. Off the heat, add the Calvados and the remaining shallots. Return the pan to the heat, taking care since the alcohol may flambe, and cook over high heat until the alcohol is reduced by half and is slightly syrupy. Add the broth and the fruit soaking liquid and boil down until the liquid is reduce by about a third. Add the cream and continue to simmer until it thickens slightly. Whisk in the mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add any juices that have accumulated on the baking sheet to the sauce. Divide the chops among 4 warm plates or a large platter. Pour on the sauce and serve.
Copyright 2001 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved.
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