I had a deep desire for fall foods. I really enjoy fall and I especially enjoy the foods that come with fall. I love squash, pumpkin, maple, cinnamon and all of the other flavors that others seem to forget about the rest of the year. Some of my favorite foods are only available at restaurants at this time of year. I love a warm and creamy butternut squash soup and crave pumpkin pie and pumpkin cheesecake all year long! Whether it be because of t.v. and movies or because of my own deep feelings, fall food is so comforting and helps to rejuvenate me for football season and gearing up for the winter.
Because I was wanting fall flavors and Matt wanted something different from our usual meals I decided to do stuffed pork chops. We had made a similar dish years ago, but I decided to wing it this time. The following "recipe" is not, I repeat NOT, my cornbread dressing/stuffing that I use for Thanksgiving. Thus I will appreciate it if the thought does not even cross your mind. I will try to replicate that delicious dish soon enough and post it well before Thanksgiving for the general enjoyment of the public.
Basically grab 4 (or so)1 to 1 1/2 inch pork chops. We look for a leaner pork chop so we usually go for the loin cuts. Salt and pepper one side of the chop and sprinkle a dash of cinnamon on each (trust me...cinnamon and pork were made for one another). Cut a deep pocket into the side of the pork chop: just take a sharp (steak) knife and run it along the side of the chop. You can separate the meat a bit extra if you need to. For the stuffing make a batch of cornbread. For this recipe I used a box of Jiffy cornbread mix because I like the sweetness and soft texture that Jiffy has. I used half of that (once baked) and combined with a teaspoon or so of butter, a third of a sauteed red bell pepper, and a quarter of a sauteed onion. Mix all of this together and spoon into the pockets of the pork chops. The cornbread should be soft enough that you can press (and mash) it into the crevices of the pork. Place in a glass baking dish with a third of a cup of chicken stock mixed with a tablespoon or more of maple syrup. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes until cooked throughout. Enjoy with your favorite sides...we were supposed to have spaghetti squash and green beans but will have to wait on the squash.
The chicken stock mixture kept the pork nice and moist and the cornbread stuffing soaked all of the pork juices as the meat cooked. It had a good meat flavor without being greasy or fatty and the cornbread stuffing lent a sweetness that complimented the pork well. Hope you enjoy this and many other meals!