Stuffed Pork Chops with sun-dried tomato, spinach and goat cheese
People like stuffing pork and there are a lot of reasons why. Since I don’t really LOVE pork but Daniel does, finding new pork recipes makes everybody happy. I’ll eat it, I’d rather eat beef but there is only so much red meat you’re supposed to eat in a week so stuffing some pork with something tasty makes it more palatable for me and Daniel gets to have pork. I also think stuffing anything looks fancy (but it is so easy!). Having a dinner party? Stuff something in something else and voila! Instant fancy dinner visually and if it’s a well complimented stuffing then the impressive tate will bring the dinner party to success. Enough about dinner parties, we’re just talking good food on a plate – for any occasion. Like dinner on Wednesday night. Giada De Laurentiis and the Food Network presented this recipe and I have made minimal adjustments to make it Dukan Diet friendly. The goat-cheese portion makes it technically off the diet but honestly, moderation people. The Dukan Diet forbids soft cheeses until the last phase but allows 1.5ounces of hard cheese a day during Phase 3/Transition phase. I understand that the limit on soft cheeses is probably because they go so well as spreads on crackers and such and portion sizes are harder to control, but the nutrition data compared between goat cheese and a hard-cheese like asiago is virtually the same per ounce. There are actually more vitamins and nutrients in goat cheese so I am making a chef’s executive decision and calling it kosher for Phase 3 because this recipe will make about 6 servings so that is less than .5 ounces of goat cheese each. Plus, it’s so tasty!
- 2 TBS olive oil – divided
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 small bag smoked sun-dried tomatoes
- 10 ounces of frozen spinach – thawed with water squeezed out
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 2 ounces goat cheese
- 1/3 cup fat-free cream cheese
- 4-6 4oz boneless pork chops – about 1″ thick
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 small lemon zested and the juice
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Cook the garlic alone for a minute or two before adding in the sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, salt, pepper and thyme. Stir to combine and cook another 2 minutes. Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix well with the cheeses. Leave that alone for a bit while you prepare the pockets. Season each side of the pork chops with salt and pepper to taste and cut a pocket into the side of the chops – deep enough to hold a serving of veggie filling but be careful not to puncture the back or sides. Stuff each chop with the spinach mixture and close as well as you can. In another small bowl, mix the chicken broth, lemon juice and zest and mustard for later. Back in the same large pan, heat up the other TBS of oil on medium high and add the pork when the pan is hot enough to sizzle. Cook until each side is nicely browned, about 4 minutes each side, being careful not to spill out the stuffing with flipping. When done, set aside on a plate while you fix up the sauce. Keep the pan you were just using hot and add in the chicken broth mix. Simmer and scrape off the browned pan-leavings from the pork. Reduce by half (about 8 minutes). Serve the pork with the sauce drizzled over top and enjoy! An impressive one pot meal that is easy to make and easy to clean and another way to enjoy pork for me!