Sunday, June 22, 2008

Pork Chops & Asparagus

Wayyyyyyy back, last July, I made my first post on this blog, complete with a picture of me holding a giant pork loin I'd gotten at the market. Sometimes these things are too good of a deal to pass up so I buy them every once in awhile and I'm stocked with pork in the freezer for quite some time. I "butcher" it myself at home - making chops, chunks for kabobs, etc.

Last night, I made stuffed pork chops courtesy of my latest giant pork loin purchase. I had cut 3 extra thick chops for just that purpose. I know typically a stuffed pork chop is a pork chop on the bone, but I figured a thick boneless chop would also do the trick.

I used Alton Brown's grilled pork chop brine recipe but made up my own stuffing - an apple and sausage combination. If you've ever watched Good Eats, you know Alton is a huge brine fan. I saw the particular episode where he made this brine and immediately saved it to my "recipe box" on I'm so glad I finally got around to using it because my husband grilled these up and they came out great - moist, tender, and flavorful - which is sometimes difficult to do with pork, especially on the grill.
To accompany the stuffed chops I made asparagus "rafts" for the grill that are a Paula Deen recipe. My husband loves asparagus, I don't love it, but I do buy it to make for him sometimes. These were tasty, even for a non-lover of asparagus, but they were a bit troublesome to skewer! I'd seen the grilled asparagus raft concept in a few places but never really realized what pain-in-the-you-know-what spearing those suckers really are. I think next time I'll pass on skewering them and just have my husband throw them directly on the grill!

Stuffed Grilled Pork Chops

4 double thick bone-in loin end pork chops
1 cup salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon mustard powder
2 cups cider vinegar, heated
1 pound ice cubes

In a plastic container put the salt, sugar, peppercorns, and mustard powder. Add the hot vinegar and swirl to dissolve. Let mixture sit for 5 to 10 minutes to develop flavor. Add ice cubes and shake to melt most of the ice. Add chops and cover with brine. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Remove chops from container and rinse. Cut horizontal pockets in each pork chop for stuffing (below). Stuff chops and secure closed with 2 to 3 toothpicks. Grill the chops on medium high heat for 6 minutes on each side.

Sausage & Apple Stuffing for Pork Chops

(from Me!)

3 sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
1 Granny Smith Apple, cored, peeled, and diced into small pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard

Combine all ingredients in small saute pan. Be sure to continually crumble sausage as it cooks with spatula. Cook until sausage is browned. Cool to room temperature before stuffing chops and securing them closed with toothpicks.

Grilled Asparagus with Lemon and Garlic

1 pound asparagus
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Trim asparagus. In a small bowl, combine oil, garlic, zest and paprika and stir with a fork. Lay asparagus side by side and pierce on 2 wooden skewers to form a raft. Place rafts on the grill and brush with oil mixture. Cook to desired tenderness and season with salt and pepper.

1 comment:

Joelen said...

Your pork stuffing sounds great!