apologizing with pork chops

so it has been quite awhile since my last post (in october!), and for that i'm truly sorry. as final papers crept up on me and the holiday season began, my work caught up with me and i developed bronchitis. there wasn't a lot of cooking, and i didn't have much time, hence the complete lack of posts. some friends offered serious complaints, so i put together a little dinner in your honor - pork chops stuffed with blue cheese and crisp bread. i served mine with sauteed collard greens and grilled corn and peppers, but this dish would go well with a number of items.

 this dish is incredibly easy, and full of rich flavor and lots of texture. this stuffing could also work in chicken breasts, but the pork chops give a firmer texture that contrasts nicely with the crunchy french bread and creamy, tangy cheese. gorgonzola, roquefort, or feta cheese could be substituted if you aren't a big fan of blue cheese, but anyone that knows you will say that i'll put blue cheese on just about anything - this is my kind of dish.

you will need:
3-4 boneless center cut pork chops
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup french bread (i used rolls for easier measuring)
1/2 cup mushrooms
1/2 cup white onion
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

to begin, break the french bread into small pieces with your fingers.

place a skillet over medium heat, and cut the butter into three separate tablespoons. pop one into the pan and let melt completely.

drop the bread pieces into the butter and saute the bread for about ten minutes, until crisp and golden brown.

remove from heat and place into a small bowl to the side.

next, chop the onion and mushrooms into small pieces, and place another tablespoon of butter into the same skillet.

throw the mushrooms and onions into the buttered skillet, sauteing for a few minutes until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms have a nice golden color. add the rosemary, salt and pepper while they're browning.

remove from heat and add to the bread, stirring well.

pop this bowl into the refrigerator to cool until you're ready to cook the pork chops, at least 15 minutes but up to several hours in advance.

when you're ready to eat, add the blue cheese to the bowl. use your fingers to stir well, breaking the bread into smaller pieces - this will make it easier to stuff into the pork chops.

preheat the oven to 350 degrees. use a sharp knife to each pork chop down the middle, taking care to create a pocket and not just cut all the way through the chop. you can also wiggle the knife and cut across the sides of the first slit to create a bigger pocket. use your hands to get the stuffing into the chops. 

once you've gotten each chop stuffed, warm up the same skillet and melt the last tablespoon of butter. pop each chop into the warm skillet for a couple of minutes to brown.

i intentionally overstuffed my pork chops, so i was really only able to brown one side. you can stuff them less, or use toothpicks to hold the sides together if you want to brown both sides.

one they've browned, pop your pork chops into a baking dish and place into the oven for 18-22 minutes, until they're cooked through. remove from dish and serve immediately.

as i said, i served with sauteed vegetables and a cabernet sauvignon that my brother gave me for my birthday (thanks eric!). really yummy, and doesn't take long to prepare at all.

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thanks so much for reading!