Ok, so I'm not the world's biggest appreciator of pork. My mom makes pork chops with cream of mushroom soup and they're good. Gie makes pork chops some other way, and they're good. The occasional pork roast finds its way onto my plate when it's cooked for me, and I'll eat it.
But like so many things which I don't love wildly, I've never cooked any pork products with the exception of bacon.
My friend Marla and I were discussing cooking one day, and she mentioned that she made a mean pork chop. I remembered my friend Alyssa (a fellow Pretty Girl) telling me about some pork chops she once stuffed with pancetta and proscuitto. Leah mentioned pork tacos to me. Basically, I was thinking pig when I went to the store on Tuesday to try and figure out what we'd eat for dinner. On the train, I thought again of stuffed pork chops. For a while I was fighting the image of cornbread, asiago, and sage, which of course is a traditional stuffing but wasn't really what I was thinking for stuffing these chops. Eventually, I got to spinach, asiago, and mushrooms.
I consulted Alyssa to find what kind of chops she used, bone in or boneless, etc. I consulted Leah for any input she might have vis a vis cooking pork. And then, I procured my spoils and began the process. The rundown is as follows, before the photos: I sauteed garlic and sliced mushrooms, with a little lemon zest, then added the spinach and several handfuls of asiago.
I let that cool while slicing pockets into my pork chops (I sliced along the line of fat that is opposite the bone).
I salted and peppered the inside and outside of the chops.
I seared them for about 4 minutes a side, then put them in the oven to finish cooking (400 until my internal temperature thermometer went off).
I made mashed potatoes, and somehow managed to make them perfect. I think this was the result of a lot of pepper, plenty of butter, not too much milk, and no cream. Or something. ANyways, it was brilliant.
And now, the images: