So I have had a little extra time on my hands with the school schedule, so I’ve been able to dedicate a little more time to preparing fabulous dinners. Truthfully, this dish looks like is takes more time and is fancier than it really is (don’t tell anyone).
2 – 10 ounce pork chops (I used boneless, but bone-in would work well – probably better – and keeps the pork moist and flavorful)
1 granny smith apple peeled and diced
1 yellow or white onion thinly sliced
2 ounces crumbled blue cheese (optional)
1 head of cauliflower, florets trimmed and separated
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon chopped garlic (or more to taste)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Half and half to blend (I got a quart for coffee and used some of it in this – it adds creaminess with less fat – not that I’m really counting, but milk goes bad in our fridge too quickly)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and heat olive oil on medium heat in an oven-safe sauté pan. I will sauté the apples and onions in this AND pan-sear the pork in it. It is my vague attempt at consolidation and not blowing up the kitchen every time I cook. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sauté the onions for 3-4 minutes until they start to soften and become translucent and then add the chopped apples. Cook stirring occasionally for 8-10 minutes until completely softened and a little brown. Remove pan from heat and let it cool a bit. I burn myself constantly (yeah, I know, school should be interesting), but this step at least ensures you won’t burn yourself stuffing the chops. When cooled mix in the crumbled blue cheese if you want to add it (as a note: I’m a bit of a more is more person, particularly when it comes to cheese, but blue cheese can be an overwhelming flavor, so use your judgment if you’re not a huge fan of it).
Cut pockets in the pork for the stuffing. This is as though you were butterflying it (or slicing a baguette for a sandwich). Make sure not to go all the way through and watch your hands! Add apple, onion, blue cheese mix to the pork pockets (well, that sounded gross), use a toothpick or two if it doesn’t stay shut on its own, and liberally salt and pepper each side of the pork. Wipe the pan you sautéed the apples and onions in clean and reheat oil in the now clean pan at medium-high heat. Once hot, lay stuffed pork in the pan, about 3-5 minutes per side to get a good color on each side, then pop in preheated oven until cooked through (about 15-20 minutes).
In the meantime bring 4 quarts water to a boil and add cauliflower. Boil for 10 minutes until tender and drain. Place in food processor along with sour cream, butter, garlic, parsley and blend. Add half and half until it’s the texture you want. I LOVE cauliflower, so I like it to have some texture; to that end, I reserved some smaller florets and threw them on a baking sheet and put them in the oven with the pork until they were crispy and added them to the mashed cauliflower.
To plate, spoon mashed cauliflower on the plate and place some crispy cauliflower pieces on top, then place the cooked piece of pork on top of the mashed cauliflower. So fast and so delicious.