Gourmet Recipes for One is a resource of simple, delicious recipes that focus on cooking for one. Single-serving recipes are featured as well as ideas and inspiration for achieving a well-balanced lifestyle.
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stuffed pork chop

I’m not kidding when I tell you that this is one of the best pork chops I’ve ever made. Searing it in the pan first gives it a nice crust on the outside while the inside is stuffed with a wonderfully fragrant blend of onions and fennel, and the splash of Pernod really enhances that subtle licorice flavor (but don’t worry, I promise it doesn’t taste like candy). If you can’t find Pernod, simply substitute with a little vegetable stock. You will still get the hint of licorice from the fennel in the stuffing. Be sure to make the pan sauce at the end so you’ll have plenty of it to serve with the pork chop.

For brine
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 fresh thyme sprig
Water, enough to cover pork chop
1 bone-in pork chop, about 1-1 1/2 inches thick

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/4 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/4 fennel bulb, thinly sliced, stems and fronds discarded
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon Pernod
1 teaspoon white wine
1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/4 cup low-sodium vegetable stock

Brown rice, for serving

1. Make a brine by combining garlic, sugar, salt, thyme and water in a re-sealable bag. Add pork chop and seal up bag. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 425°F.
3. Meanwhile, in an oven-proof sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add onion and fennel and cook until vegetables are lightly brown, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and thyme and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add Pernod and white wine to deglaze pan, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside to cool slightly. When cooled, stir in breadcrumbs and mix to combine.
4. Drain pork chop and pat completely dry. Using a paring knife, make a horizontal cut into center of fat side of pork chop to make a pocket. Stuff with breadcrumb mixture and secure pork with two toothpicks. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
5. Clean out sauté pan and heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear pork chop for 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Turn and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
6. Place pan in oven and finish cooking pork chop until cooked through about 30-35 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 150° when placed in center of pork chop. When finished, transfer pork chop to a plate and tent with aluminum foil to rest. Place pan back on stove over medium heat. Add vegetable stock to deglaze pan, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan. Whisk in remaining 1 tablespoon butter and season with salt and pepper. When sauce has thickened slightly, spoon over pork chop and serve warm along with brown rice.

Serves 1.

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