Welcome to Direct Your Dining! This cooking series will introduce you to energy efficient recipes full of tips to keep your meals delicious without using every appliance in the kitchen. Preparing recipes with energy efficiency in mind at least once a week will make cooking a little easier, and may even help reduce your monthly electricity bill. Check in every week for a new recipe full of flavor and creativity that will surely impress your friends and family.
Let us continue to explore how introducing fall flavors to our favorite dishes can bring welcome variety to our dining experience.
Today’s low energy use recipe is a stuffed pork chop that features classic ingredients like cinnamon, honey, apples, and rosemary. By starting the cooking in a cast iron skillet on the stove and then moving to the oven, the meal is ready in less than 30 minutes, and it’s filling and hearty – perfect for a cool autumn evening.
Don’t be afraid of the honey, cinnamon, and apple bringing too much sweetness, as the amounts used aren’t overpowering. These flavors combine with pork incredibly well, and they work with the rosemary and ricotta cheese to make a perfect combination of sweet and savory that is quite satisfying.
The key to speeding up the cooking time is getting the skillet hot on the stove, searing both sides of the pork chops, and then letting the food finish cooking in a hot oven.
I recommend the big, seedless variety of grapes to roast in the pork’s juices in the skillet between the chops. They will hold together well, and roast up to perfection, creating an excellent complement to the meat.
Turn this protein into a complete meal by serving it with a simple salad of baby arugula and honey-roasted pecans. I feel that the peppery arugula pairs well with the finished pork chops, but if you aren’t a fan of the bite in arugula, you can substitute spinach or mixed field greens.
One-Skillet Stuffed Pork Chops for Autumn
- 3 8-10 oz. Pork chops (bone-in will work, though boneless is used in the images)
- 1½ tsp. “House seasoning” for the pork chops (½ tsp. each of sea salt, black pepper, and onion powder)
- 1 c. Whole milk ricotta cheese
- ½ c. Golden delicious apple, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- ¼ tsp. Sea salt
- ½ tsp. Black pepper
- ½ tsp. Fresh minced rosemary leaves
- ½ tbsp. Honey
- ½ tsp. Cinnamon
- 1 c. Large red seedless grapes
- ½ c. Red onion, thinly sliced
- 4 tbsp. Sweet cream, salted butter
- Baby arugula
- Handful of honey-roasted pecan pieces
1) Prepare the ingredients as directed.
2) Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels. Cut holes into the side of each chop for the stuffing.
3) Season both sides of each chop with the “House seasoning.”
4) In a small mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, chopped apple, ¼ tsp. sea salt, ½ tsp. black pepper, and ½ tsp. fresh minced rosemary leaves. Stir to combine.
5) Fill the pocket in each chop with the ricotta stuffing. (Optional: use a toothpick to keep the pocket closed.)
6) Heat the cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the butter.
7) Once the butter has melted, place each chop in and sear on the first side for 3 minutes. Flip and sear on second side for 3 more minutes.
8) While second side is searing, add the grapes and red onions around the skillet as shown. Also, preheat oven to 400° F (204.4° C).
9) Drizzle the honey and sprinkle the cinnamon over everything.
10) Move the skillet to the oven and roast for 15 minutes. (If you use bone-in pork chops, you can remove the skillet when the pork chops run clean by the bone.)
11) Serve with salad of baby arugula and pecans.
Check back in every week for more Direct Your Dining recipes to help reduce your energy use in the kitchen while getting creative with delicious dishes!
Recipe and Images by Stacie Morgan