Grilling season is upon us again, and I love a good grilled pork chop, but there are times when you want something more interesting than a plain old grilled pork chop. (Especially when you've got a small bit of fontina cheese in the fridge looking for a home.) I remember eating something similar to this at restaurants years ago, but with veal chops instead - a very pricey cut of meat. Try it with pork chops to save a little money, but it's best to "French" the pork chops if you can't buy them already trimmed this way. Frenching them just means to trim around the bone and cut out some of the fat. You're left with a kind of "handle."
Then, using a sharp knife, slice the chop in two to make a "pocket."
Then, using a meat pounder, pound the chop thinner on each side. (a heavy can will do in a pinch if you don't have a pounder.)
Meanwhile, take the broccoli rape that's been boiled and drained and add it to some sautéed shallots and garlic.
After it's cooled, place half in each pork chop and top with fontina cheese. Secure with toothpicks.
Give it a light dusting of flour, some salt and pepper seasoning, then sauté in olive oil for a few minutes at medium high heat, flipping once.
Add the white wine and sage, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for another couple of minutes, turning once. It's easy to overcook pork chops, so don't overdo it.
Take two slices of ripe tomato (these were unusually nice tomatoes for April in New Jersey.)
Place them over the pork chops, and top with more fontina cheese.
Place a lid over the top to aid the melting, if necessary.
Serve with a sage leaf on top (and don't forget to remove the toothpicks, especially if you're serving to company.)
Ready to dig in yet?
How about now?
Stuffed Pork Chops
2 pork chops (mine were about 3/4" thick)
1/4 cup boiled broccoli rape, chopped
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T. olive oil
red pepper flakes
a few slices of fontina cheese for stuffing and a few more for the top
2 more T. olive oil for sautéing the pork chops
2 tomato slices
1/2 cup white wine
a few sage leaves
Using a sharp knife, make a slit in the pork chops, but don't cut all the way through. Take each half of the slit chop and pound with a meat pounder. Season with salt and pepper.
In a sauté pan, place the olive oil and minced shallot and garlic and cook until softened. Add the chopped broccoli rape. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, to taste. Let the mixture cool.
When it has cooled, place half inside each pork chop, then top with a few slices of fontina cheese.
Close the pork chop, then secure with toothpicks.
Give the pork chops a VERY light dusting of flour, then sauté at medium high heat in 2 T. olive oil for a few minutes, turning once. You just want to get a little browning, you're not going to finish the cooking at this heat.
Lower the heat, then add the white wine and sage. At this point, cover the pork chops with the tomato slice and more fontina cheese. Let the pork chops simmer in the white wine for a couple of minutes until the meat is almost cooked. The cheese may not yet be melted at this point. In that case, cover the pan with a lid and cook on low heat for a minute or two until the cheese is melted. Serve with a sage leaf on top.