Friday, September 18, 2015

Weekend Gourmet Flashback: Goat Cheese-Stuffed Pork Chops with Maple-Balsamic Parsnips, Apples & Potatoes

As a food blogger, sometimes it's hard to determine which of your recipes will grab your readers' attention...and which ones won't. The recipe I'm sharing today was originally posted about 3 years ago, but it didn't really catch on with my readers. I love this Goat Cheese-Stuffed Pork Chops with Maple-Balsamic Parsnips, Apples & Potatoes so much that I decided to share it again now that cooler weather is starting to arrive. If you've never tried parsnips, this is a great dish to get to know them. They're similar to a carrot, but more starchy and not as sweet.
These juicy pork chops are bursting with an array of Fall colors and flavors, and the combination of sweet maple and sour balsamic on the veggies and apples is complex and flavorful. This recipe is a complete meal that roasts in a casserole dish -- and your house will smell heavenly as the pork chops, veggies, and apples bake away. This dish is a real winner in my book: practical enough for a weeknight dinner, but fancy enough to serve guests.
Goat Cheese-Stuffed Pork Chops With Maple-Balsamic Parsnips, Apples & Potatoes
a Weekend Gourmet Original

Ingredients (for three servings):
  • 3 large bone-in pork chops (approx. 1.75 lbs.)
  • 3 tbs. soft goat cheese
  • 3 tsp. Herbs de Provence
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
  • 2 shallots, peeled and quartered
  • 1 lb. small red potatoes, cut into bite-size wedges
  • 1 Gala apple, cut into 8-1o wedges
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
Step 1:  Preheat oven to 400. Slice a deep pocket into each of the pork chops (about 1.75 lbs total). Stuff 1 tbs. of soft goat cheese into the pocket of each pork chop and top the cheese with 1 tsp. of the Herbs de Provence. Season with salt and pepper to taste and hold the pocket closed with a large toothpick or skewer. Add the olive oil to a large non-stick skillet over med-high heat. Brown the pork chops in olive oil on each side until evenly seared.
Step 2:  Add the parsnips, shallots, red potatoes, and Gala apple to a large mixing bowl. Add the maple syrup and balsamic vinegar, then toss well to evenly coat.
Step 3:  Pour the glazed apple-veggie mixture into the bottom of a large oval oven-safe casserole. Top with the three browned pork chops. Arrange two sprigs fresh thyme and two sprigs fresh rosemary in between the pork chops. 
Step 4:  Roast, uncovered for about 45 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and the pork chops are cooked through. Let the dish rest for 5 minutes before plating. When you're ready to serve, simply remove the skewer. Arrange a third of the roasted apples and veggies on each plate and place a pork chop on the side.

This dish comes out perfectly every time I make it! The herbs and the goat cheese permeate the flavor pork chops with flavor, and I love the creamy tang the goat cheese brings. The roasted parsnips, apples, potatoes, and shallots have a sweetly tart flavor from the maple-balsamic glaze. This versatile dish can also be made with bone-in chicken breasts in place of the pork chops if you prefer. I hope you'll give this recipe a second look and add it to your dinner menu rotation this Fall season. I promise you'll be glad you did!

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