I am not a huge fan of pork, and pork chops are one of my least to choose when cooking pork, but I decided to make them for RJ because he loves them and every once in a while I am a good fiance 🙂
I found this in a new recipe book about make ahead meals. I really enjoy actually reading this recipe book unlike most others, it gives me tips on freezing that I have had trouble mastering; most of the time my freezer foods will come out a little too frost bitten and my planned meal turns into a late night and unplanned dinner. So as you can see, this book is rather educational for me as well as a great staple for good recipes. If interested, I found it at Barnes and Nobles and the author is Michele Borboa and it is titled Make Ahead Meals Made Healthy.
This recipe calls for a roasting pan, if you do not have one do not worry, it is do-able without one! Just use a metal large baking sheet and make sure to coat it with olive oil. I usually use this method when roasting my veggies, however I did happen to use my roasting pan when making this meal.
Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Take your pre cut veggies and toss them in olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Place in a roasting pan (or large baking sheet) and make sure to cover the entire surface. Place in the oven and stir every 5 minutes for at least 20 minutes or until the veggies are browned and soft in the middle. Remove from the oven and add the broth.
Take out your pork chops and rinse them off with cool water (I do this for every piece of raw meat before I cook it, it will rinse off the preservatives, etc. inside the package). Cut a pocket inside of each chop being careful not to pierce through the outside and then rub with salt and pepper. Set aside. Heat a large skillet with olive oil and butter (I know, but believe me it’s worth it!) over medium heat until melted, making sure to coat the pan. Add your toasted cubed bread and sautee until lightly toasted. Set in a bowl.
In the same skillet, add some olive oil and cook the onion, celery and be sure to stir continuously to prevent burning, this should take about 3-5 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Next add sun dried tomatoes and rosemary and cook another 3 or so minutes. Add your bread cubes and mix. Take your skillet off the heat.
Stuff each pork chop with the mushroom filling, you most likely will have some extra. Heat your remaining oil in your skillet on medium high heat and begin browning your pork chops. You should still see pink in the middle of the chops. Once they are all browned, place your pork chops into the bed of roasted veggies making a space clear of veggies for the pork to sit. Cook keeping the same 400 degree temp, for 10-15 minutes, or until the pork is no longer pink (be careful not to over cook or the pork will taste chewy and dry.)
In a medium sized bowl, whisk the apricot preserves and lemon juice, place in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds or until warm, whisk again until blended well. Drizzle or dip your pork chops into the sauce along side your roasted veggies. (If you are not too adventurous, I urge you to try this! It is very good and gives this meal the perfect blend of salty and sweet!!).
What you’ll need:
2 sweet potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
2-3 carrots, peeled and thickly cut
2 broccoli “trees”, peeled at the stem and cut into mini “trees”
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt & Pepper
1/2 cup of Veggie Broth
4 boneless, center-cut pork loin chops
Salt & Pepper
3 tablespoons of olive oil (divided)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 slices of whole wheat bread, cut into cubes
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 large stalk of celery, finely diced
8 ounces (or in my case a few hand fulls) of wild mushrooms, I used shitake and oyster
1 glove of garlic, minced
1/3 cup of finely chopped sun dried tomatoes, jarred in olive oil
1 tablespoon rosemary
1 cup of apricot preserves
Juice of 1 lemon
A few tips & tid bits: It will be much easier to prep your veggies before you start cooking. I thought I had enough prepped when I began cooking, but I ended up asking RJ for some help in the kitchen because I had too many tasks to do. I will learn better next time 🙂 Also, I think I will ex-nay the bread and use something like bread crumbs or no bread at all! I did enjoy it however, I think I would have enjoyed it more without.
I hope you like this dish, it’s a good way to include your veggies and feel free to use any kind you like! The recipe in my book called for some different veggies, but I used my favorite and personal staples in roasting, and I think it turned out perfect!