Thursday, November 15, 2012

Recipe Review Apple Bacon Stuffed Pork Chops from Taste of the South Magazine Nov 2012

I decided to try something I have never tried before.  Stuffed pork chops.  I even had to go to the expensive meat counter to get my 1 and 1/4 inch thick bone in pork chops....How exciting:-)
I found the recipe in my new favorite magazine Taste of the South Nov 2012 issue.  I studied the recipe...

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 cup finely chopped cooking apple
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup cornbread stuffing mix
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 4 (1 1/4-inch thick) bone-in pork rib chops, trimmed (about 1 pound each)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil, divided
  1. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet, keeping drippings in pan. Set bacon aside to cool.
  2. Add apple, onion, and celery to bacon drippings in skillet; cook until apple mixture begins to soften, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. In a small bowl, combine salt and pepper. Crumble bacon, and add it to the apple mixture in skillet with 1/2 teaspoon salt mixture, stuffing mix, and chicken broth; stir until liquid is absorbed.
  4. Using a small sharp knife, cut a horizontal pocket in the side of each pork chop, about 3 inches wide and 2 inches deep. Open pockets and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt mixture. Gently stuff about 1/2 cup apple mixture into each pocket. Secure each pocket with a wooden pick coated in nonstick cooking spray. Season outside of pork chops with remaining 1 teaspoon salt mixture
  5. Preheat oven to 325°. Spray a broiler pan sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  6. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add 2 pork chops; cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes on each side. Place browned pork chops on prepared broiler pan. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and pork chops. Pour 1/2 cup water into bottom of broiler pan.
  7. Bake until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of pork chops registers 145°, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Lightly cover with foil; let stand for 15 minutes before serving.
  8. Note: Pork chops can be stuffed and refrigerated for up to 4 hours before cooking. Be sure to thoroughly cool the apple mixture before stuffing in pork chops.
    *If you don't have a broiler pan, just place pork chops on rimmed baking sheet and bake that way. I often forget to add the water and they still turn out fine :)
My photo recipe experience.....
Made the stuffing....yummy!

Have you ever tried to cut meats with a dull knife?  Well I have.  It is frustrating to say the least.  It is not really cutting but the word "sawing" comes to mind.  It took me some time.  I had to "saw" the excess fat from the side opposite the bone then I had to "saw" pockets into the chops....Ugg!  After much "sawing" I was ready to stuff the pork chops.
The next day though I found myself at a new cooking store at the mall.  I found the knife I want for Christmas....Hint...Hint:-)  What a difference a sharp knife makes.  Yes they are pricey but they actually cut.  I took a test run with the knife.  I sliced potatoes.  I couldn't believe the difference a sharp knife makes.  I sliced through the potato like butter.  Amazing!!

I must say it was a bit difficult to brown the chops with all of the tooth picks in the way but I did it and they looked amazing.

After a wonderful meal we headed out to the back yard so Caleb could wonder around.  
He loves being outside.....

As you can see Caleb and Grandpa have matching garden chairs:-)
Now about the recipe.  I would give them a 8.5/10 on my cooking scale.
I may make them again on Thanksgiving Day for Joe and I.  The rest of the family are visiting other family members that day.  Our turkey day will be on Friday when everyone will be at our house.
Happy Cooking Everyone!
Enjoy Your World:-)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Chocolate Chess Pie from Taste of the South Magazine Nov/Dec 2012

Several weeks ago I attempted to make a Chess Pie.  It was awful I had to throw it away...not edible.  I saw this recipe in my new Taste of the South Magazine and decided to try another version.  It was great and I will make this one again.....I studied the recipe....and gathered my ingredients.....

Chocolate Chess Pie
*One and 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
*One tsp sugar
*1/2 tsp of salt
*4 Tablespoons of butter cut into pieces
*4 Tablespoons of shortening
*3 to 4 table spoons of ice water

*One cup of sugar
*1/2 cup of firmly packed dark brown sugar
*3 Tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
*2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
*1/4 tsp of salt
*1/2 cup evaporated milk
*1/4 cup butter softened
*One tsp of vanilla extract
*3 large eggs
*1/2 cup dark chocolate morsels 
(I used 1/2 cup of mini semi sweet chocolate morsels)
Garnish: Whipped cream & chocolate shavings.
(I used a container of Cool Whip and the mini Semi sweet chocolate morsels)
*In large bowl combine flour, sugar and salt for crust, stir well
 Cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
 Sprinkle ice water 1 tablespoon at a time over flour mixture tossing till moistened.
 Gather dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, refrigerate for 30 minutes

*Preheat oven to 350. 
 On floured surface roll dough into a 12 inch circle. (The first time I tried to
 roll it out it was too sticky.  I sprinkled it with more flour balled it up again
 then tried to roll it out again....perfect:-)
 Place in a 9 inch pie plate and flute edges as desired.

*In a large bowl combine sugars, cocoa, flour and salt for filling.
 Add milk, butter, vanilla, and eggs, stir well.

*Sprinkle the chocolate morsels on top of crust then pour cocoa mixture over them.

*Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is set about 45 minutes
 (I had to bake mine a bit longer)

*Let cool completely. (I then spread cool whip over the top and sprinkled it with
 semi sweet mini chocolate chips.  Very pretty:-)
Recipe adventure in photos....

I decided it would look a bit more appealing with Cool Whip and garnish of the mini semi sweet chocolate chips....Looks yummy:-)

Now its time to cut the pie and enjoy the chocolate goodness...

I will make this again, maybe over the holidays.  I would give it a 9.5/10 on my cooking scale. Warning it is rich and you will need a glass of milk or coffee, but it is worth the calories:-)
Happy Cooking Everyone!
Enjoy Your World:-)
By the way Caleb says "Hi"....:-)