While researching dishes for the upcoming holidays I happened across this recipe for stuffed pork chops on allrecipes.com. I have never had stuffed pork chops nor have I made my own pork chops before. This dish was relatively simple and incorporated good flavors.
One thing that caught me off guard was the creole seasoning. I went to Whole Foods and scoured their spice isle with no luck. I quickly searched my phone and found a quick recipe that utilized spices I already had on hand (whew!)
In a bowl I mixed together garlic powder, onion powder, dried basil, dried oregano, dried thyme, salt, black pepper, white pepper, cayenne and paprika. In the process of making this I emptied one of my spice jars. This made just enough to fit into it, so I washed off the bottle and filled it up. If you don’t have an empty jar you can store it in an airtight plastic bag.
Now that I had my seasoning I was ready to stuff my pork. First I mixed some panko and creole seasoning onto a plate. On a different plate I lined up my smoked gouda cheese and spinach. One plate would be my stuffing station and the other my dredging. I also poured out some horseradish mustard into a bowl so as not to contaminate the whole jar and I was ready to go.
I cut a pocket into one side of the chop, stuffed in half a piece of cheese, a small handful of baby spinach and the other half of the Gouda. I then slathered horseradish mustard on both sides and dredged it all over with the seasoned panko.
I added the chop to a greased 9×13″ baking dish and repeated with the rest of my chops. I let them sit while I began my risotto, which is much more labor intensive.
First I poured 4 cups of vegetable broth and 2 cups of mushroom broth in a stock pot and simmered it on low heat. I then added some olive oil to a 3 quart sauce pan and sautéed a pound of mixed mushrooms with minced garlic until soft. I then reserved this in a bowl and began the risotto. Before I began this long process I put my pork in my 400 degree preheated oven.
I then added some butter to the pan that I cooked my mushrooms in. I added a diced onion and dried basil, cooking until the onion was translucent. I then added the barley and let it toast for about 5 minutes. This was the beginning of constant stirring. Literally constant. This dish takes patience, but is not hard. This would be the case whether you used traditional arborio rice or the barley I used. You need to go into this knowing you will be standing over the stove and stirring for 40 minutes (at least).
I then added half a cup of white wine and stirred until evaporated. Then stirred in half a cup of the broth mixture, stirring until evaporated and repeated until all 6 cups of broth were gone. At thus point the dish was getting really creamy. I added the mushrooms in, stirring until incorporated. At the very end I added some grated Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.
By the time my risotto was done the chops were cooked as well. The meal was hearty and delicious. It made a good amount of food, enough to feed 4 or to have dinner / lunch for the week.