So maybe this should have been posted a little closer to Thanksgiving since it incorporates cranberries but I think this has a nice holiday feel to it that will work with the Christmas season too. Essences of cloves and cinnamon along with the cranberries really dress up a boring boneless pork chop! If you aren’t aware already, I don’t like pork chops and Daniel does. To work around this, I find ways to make a chop tastier for me and that almost always includes stuffing it with something. It is getting to the point that I might have to start a new category all its own called “Stuffed”. This meal has multiple steps so plan a simple side dish with it, I chose my wrinkled green beans. It isn’t difficult though, and the end result is worth the effort in our opinion. Lets get started!
- 1 cup dried cranberries or cherry flavored crasins
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 TBS brown sugar (or Splenda brown sugar)
- 1 tsp chili powder *does not add heat, just flavor!
- 4 boneless pork chops 1″ thick – no less or the pocket will be like the little one on your inside jean pocket, basically worthless.
- 1 – 2 TBS olive oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1 TBS brown sugar
- 1 tsp black whole peppercorns *cut these out if you don’t like spicy, they have a sneaky way of showing up whole on your fork.
- 1 tsp cranberry stuffing (recipe follows)
- 1/4 cup cranberry water – reserved from step one
Step One: the filling. (first group of ingredients) Prepare 30 minutes in advance. Put the cranberries into a 1 – 1 1/2 cup boiling water, allow to soak for 30 minutes. This will fluff them out and give you a cranberry flavored water that you want to save 1/4 cup of for later in this recipe. Drain after 30 minutes (saving the 1/4 cup), mix in the cinnamon, cloves, chili powder and 1 TBS of the brown sugar. Put them in a food processor and blend to desired consistency, I like mine a little chunky.
Step Two: the chop. (second group of ingredients) Preheat your oven to 400° F. Make a pocket in your pork chop by cutting about 1/4th an inch from each side, being careful not to puncture the back. Widen it with your fingers if needed. Season the outside to your taste with salt and pepper and stuff each pocket with filling, reserving 1 tsp for the sauce. Once that’s done and the stuffing is packed in well and won’t all fall out (much) during the flipping, brown the chops 2- 3 minutes each side on high heat, longer if needed to get it golden. Once everybody is the right shade of yummy, transfer to a plate to wait for a little bit.
Step Three: the sauce.(third group of ingredients) On high heat combine the chicken stock and wine and reduce to 2 cups. Add all the other ingredients and reduce further until thickened. Put your chops in the pan, spooning a little sauce over top and let them roast for 8 – 12 minutes. I lean towards 8, you can always put them back!
This recipe is a tasty way to get dinner on the table, even if it is pork chops! Dukan Diet Worthy Stage 3 and higher and has been a standing favorite at our house for a few years. I wish I knew where I got it from, most likely the Food Network but when I searched, did not find this recipe. Maybe it was retired.
Like most of my recipe’s, I lifted this (from Giada De Laurentiis/Food Network) and tweaked it for what works for us. The original recipe was on our diet but I didn’t have a pork loin on hand, instead, our freezer was well-stocked with boneless pork chops. You make the pork part however you like or hey, don’t even use pork! Put this on poultry! This tangy topping is easy to make and is 100% Dukan worthy.
Needed hardware: an oven, blender and possibly a grill.
- 2 heads garlic
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 pork loin (3.4-4.5 lbs) OR 6-8 boneless pork chops
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves – no substitutions here for dried….fresh is a must
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp Splenda
- 2 Tbs water
Roasting garlic is EASY. Get your oven hot – 475°F first. If using a whole head of garlic, then just cut the whole thing in half, paper peel and all. If using loose fresh garlic (we use way too much garlic for me to be peeling garlic all the time. Plus, it annoys me when my fingers get sticky from garlic juice and then the paper bits stick to them and if you have a cut then it burns….I’m not a princess I promise.) Anyway, back to topic! If using fresh loose garlic, chop off the tips and then chop them in half. Put an extra big piece of foil on a baking sheet, you want enough to be able to fold it over and make a foil-bubble or pocket. Drizzle the bottom with the Tbs of olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place the garlic heads with the cut side down (it’s a pain making all the loose garlic be cut side down but you need to) and seal them in. Put them in the oven for 45-60 minutes. If they start smelling like they’re burning, take them out – burned garlic vinaigrette doesn’t sound near as tasty as roasted! Allow to cool in the foil while you chop off the parsley leaves from the stalks. Throw the parsley, vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, pepper, Splenda and garlic all in a blender and pulse until it makes a blended paste. Now if you’re thinking to yourself that cleaning a food-processor sounds easier than cleaning a blender you need to take into consideration that if your food-processor is like mine it has holes in the top. Cleaning
my your countertop is just another thing to clean! All of this scenario is hypothetical of course. How to cook your pork (or poultry) it’s up to you. If using pork, whatever the cut, season it with salt and pepper and grill it to your preferred doneness. Or, when the garlic has about 30 minutes left, put it in a heavy pan with them. When you take out the pork, cover it with the garlic foil and let it rest while you prepare the vinaigrette.
Back to spices! This quick spice-rub is dinner simplified. Tastes like you spent time on things when really, you can make it while the grill warms up! I got this from Alton Brown (Food Network) in 2010 and it is a great fall-back recipe when I just don’t know what to do with dinner. Perfect on cuts of chicken or pork-chops, great for seasoning a plain piece of meat without adding a ton of salt.
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 2 tsp garlic powder
Mix it all together in a bowl or plastic-ware and spread it evenly over one or both sides of skinless chicken breasts or thighs or a boneless pork-chop and grill on low to medium. The spices have a tendency to burn so keep an eye on things. This recipe makes enough to cover 6 chicken breasts or 8 pork-chops/chicken thighs. It has less kick in it than it sounds, if you’re worried about the cayenne, cut it in half and see how that works for you! 100% Dukan Diet Worthy for all stages.