Monday, August 30, 2010

Breaded Pork Chops Stuffed with Figs & Cheese ~ A Pantry Confession

A funny thing happened today. I decided to spruce up the pantry in preparation for Fall, when something on the top shelf caught my attention. It was blue and yellow with hints of red and carefully positioned in the far back corner. It was a box of sorts...with big, bold letters, obscured by flour and wheat. Whatever it was seemed playful...fruit snacks... cream cones perhaps?

A little maneuvering and there I my own kitchen staring down an unopened, expired box of, Kraft Shake N'Bake, Pork Original Recipe. For the life of me, I don't recall buying the box, but I seem to recollect shoving it in the pantry (years ago) right before company arrived. I couldn't possibly have our guests believe, I would stoop to using such mass produced, sodium rich, culinary rubbish! If memory serves me right, it was with great vigor, I mounted a step stool and before the doorbell could finish its tune...that Shake N'Bake... was history!

Until today.

{Insert Self-Reflection Here}

How did I end up with Shake N'Bake anyway? (A moment of weakness? A yearning for childhood?)

If it's "rubbish," why did I go to such extremes to hide it? Why not just throw it away? (Was I looking for a rush? Was I begging to get caught?)

What other grocery items do I have stashed away? (Crap is that !#@&@?!)

Oh my... I do have a problem!

So there you have it...a pantry confession. You'll be glad to know the Shake N'Bake found its way into the trash (it was severely expired!). Instead, here's a simple stuffed pork chop with a no fail breading where you control the sodium! Delicious every time...the crunchy, savory outside pairs beautifully with the mildly sweet, rich and creamy center - the figs and cheese adding a touch of sophistication you and your guests will adore!

Breaded Pork Chops Stuffed with Figs & Cheese
adapted over time

4 Boneless thick cut pork chops (about 1+ inch thick)

10-12 fresh figs diced
4-5 Tablespoon crumbled blue cheese

4 Tablespoon olive oil
5 cloves of garlic sliced

3 to 2 ratio homemade or prepared Italian Bread crumbs to grated Parmesan cheese

3 eggs
2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 325.

Whisk together eggs and milk to make egg wash. Mix together bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese to make breading. Set aside.

S&P both sides of pork chops. With small pairing knife cut a slit in chop lengthwise along the side about 3/4 the way through (forming a pocket), set aside.

Mix together figs and cheese.

Stuff pork chops with fig & cheese mixture (about 2 T per chop).

Dip stuffed chops in egg wash and then coat well with breading.

Add olive oil and garlic to frying pan over medium heat.

When garlic begins to brown slightly, remove it from pan (discard or
save for another use.)

Fry pork chops about 3 minutes each side (or until nicely browned but not too dark)

Place in roasting pan, secure open side with toothpicks and bake approx. 12 minutes.

Let rest 10 minutes, discard toothpicks and serve.


The Food Hound said...

Hahah!! I would have the exact same reaction if I found Shake n Bake in my pantry!!! I usually have a yellow cake mix on hand for these AMAZING Williams-Sonoma pumpkin bars, and it's shoved behind something much more wholesome so no one sees it :) I will blog that recipe (it's very "autumn!"), but until then, the mix will remain hidden :) Can't wait to try the chops-- I'm not a fan of blue cheese, so I may do fig or date or cranberry and goat cheese? I'll let you know how they turn out!

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

LMAO at the rogue shake n bake!!! That's hilarious :)

I am lovin' this pork chop recipe. Not a big blue cheese fan so I'd use goat cheese and cranberries probably. Man that sounds GOOD!!! ooh and I have pork chops in the freezer, and goat cheese in the fridge... see dinner is practically making itself!!

oh and homemade bread crumbs are the BEST!!! I keep my heels and stale parts of loaves of homemade bread in a zip top bag in the freezer, when I need crumbs I take out a few pieces & pulse in the food processor. So easy and so good!

City Share said...

I love the Shake N' Bake anecdote. I totally have stuff in my cabinets that I don't want anyone to know about. In my defense, some of it was given to us. The porkchops look delicious! Have to keep them in mind the next time we want a treat.

Katerina said...

We all have such misfortunate moments in our lives. I can recall one or two and I actually used them. This pork you made on the other hand looks very crunchy on the outside and very tender and juicy on the inside. Awesome!

Joanne said...

So funny. I used to have crazy processed things like that in my pantry as well. They all got expunged when I left for college. DONE.

I love that stuffing! You are genius. Hands down.

laurie said...

Thats one good lookin' chop!

Unknown said...

I'm so glad you're all being nice - I thought this might make some mad. Truth is as a busy mom I know there is a time and place for SnB like products but the whole thing just made me laugh b/c I totally remember hiding it! BTW-I heard a SnB commercail yesterday on the radio and it made me feel bad! LOL! Thanks for the comments

Erin said...

The best part is the picture with the box blurred. It completes the story. I may now have to go through the pantry to see if I have anything I should be hiding :)

Pam said...

This looks delicious, love it with the figs. I haven't see a box of Shake n Bake in years.

Barbara said...

Funny post. I cleaned out my pantry recently too and found some very odd things as well.
I remember when Shake and Bake came out...can't remember using it though.
Love this pork dish with figs and blue cheese. Unusual and it looks delicious.

corner pantry cabinet said...

This looks delicious, I love that stuffing!

tall storage cabinet said...

Absolutely gorgeous