1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 sun-dried tomatoes, diced
1 (10-ounce) bag of frozen spinach, thawed and excess water squeezed out
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup (2 ounces) goat cheese
1/3 cup reduced-fat cream cheese
4 (4-ounce) center-cut pork chops
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 lemon, zested
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
I made some slight variations on this recipe. I used fresh spinach instead of frozen, substituted roasted red peppers for sun dried tomatoes, upped the garlic from 2 to 5 cloves, and used whipped cream cheese instead of reduced fat.
In addition to the pork chops, I prepared roasted potatoes. Quarter (or halve, depending on the size of the potato) one 2-lb bag of potatoes. Toss in olive oil and Herbes de Provence, place in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
Next up, wilt down some spinach. I didn’t measure this at all, so just eyeball it. Remember that a large amount of leaves wilts down very small. After the spinach is about halfway wilted, add the garlic and tomatoes (or peppers).
After the spinach is cooked down and the garlic is fragrant, transfer the mixture to a small mixing bowl. Add in the goat cheese and cream cheese, as well as salt, pepper and thyme.
When I make this again, I will probably use less cream cheese. I had substituted whipped, but didn’t adjust the amount. This made the stuffing more like a spinach dip rather than a thick mixture, and caused it to spill out of the pork chops in the pan. Lesson learned!
After the mixture is done, cut slits in the pork chops to form a pocket. Season both sides of the pork with salt and pepper, then stuff the chops. The recipe advised cooking the pork on each side for about four minutes, but I felt this wasn’t enough time. Since I wanted to get a jump start on the sauce, I transferred the pork to a baking dish and popped it in the oven with the potatoes.
Begin working on the light mustard sauce. Combine lemon juice, lemon zest, mustard, and chicken broth in a bowl. Add to the pork skillet, scraping the bits off the bottom. Reduce down to half. This took longer than the recipe indicated, and it really didn’t reduce down as far as I’d hoped. I know it was supposed to be a light sauce, but it never seemed to come together. Next time I might start with a roux (butter/flour) mixture to help bind it together.
After the potatoes are finished, toss them with shredded parmesan. I used a parm-asiago mix since I had some on hand.
Fill up your plate, and enjoy!