Friday, March 26, 2010

Manchego Stuffed Pork Chops with Roasted Red Pepper-Pepita Sauce

I'm always on the look-out for ingredients I've never had/used before, and this recipe really hit the jackpot. Pepitas? Basically pumpkin seeds, but something I've never cooked with. Manchego? A salty, slightly tangy cheese that opened a new door in my cheese-lover's heart. Roasted red peppers? Sure I've had a jar hanging out on the shelf for-ev-er, but I have to admit I'm not sold on these yet.

I figured I would love the pork chop aspect of this meal, because honestly, anything stuffed with cheese has to be pretty good. And I was not disappointed with that part. The sauce, however, did not sit well with me. I do think that was my own fault because I think I used too much balsamic vinegar, and I ended up scraping all the sauce off my pork. I think it could be a good sauce, and the hubby seemed to enjoy it, but not quite up my alley yet.

Another plus to this meal is how fast and easy it all comes together. Served with mashed pinto beans, it was an all-around new tasting experience for us!

Manchego Stuffed Pork Chops with Roasted Red Pepper-Pepita Sauce
Source: elly says opa

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 pork chops
thinly sliced manchego cheese
2 Tbsp. pepitas
1/2 cup sliced roasted red peppers
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350.

Using a paring or utility knife, slice pockets into your pork chops, or nearly butterfly them. Stuff the chops with thin slices of manchego (about 1/2 oz. for each chop). Season the pork chops with kosher salt and fresh pepper.

Heat a large, heavy bottomed skillet or saute pan over medium heat and then add 2 tsp. of the oil. Once hot, add the pork chops and brown on each side, about 1-2 minutes (don’t cook them through). Move the pan to the oven and allow the pork chops to finish cooking (8-15 minutes, depending on thickness and whether chops are boned).

Meanwhile, make the roasted red pepper sauce. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the pepitas. Toss a couple of times and let them heat until fragrant and they start to turn golden brown. Combine the pepitas, roasted red peppers, vinegar, remaining 1 tsp. olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste in a mini food processor and process until smooth. Serve the red pepper sauce over the pork chops.

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