Saturday, July 13, 2013

Hot Italian Sausage Stuffed Pork Chops with Apple Chutney

I had company the latter half of this week, and I thoroughly enjoyed cooking the last two days of our visit.  This blog post and the following blog post are both slightly differing versions of dishes I have previously endeavored.  I have just added new spins to them.  First, I made King Cut pork chops stuffed with hot Italian sausage with a chunky Apple Chutney.  I wanted hot and spicy to meet sweet and tangy.  I think the two flavors were quite a tasty pair. 

I butterflied the King Cut pork cutlets or chops and seasoned both sides simply with salt, pepper and Herbs de Provence.  Love Herbs de Provence!  The lemony thyme and lavender add an amazing aroma and flavor to the pork.  I set them aside on a meat cutting board to allow them to come to room temperature.  One thing I have learned is to allow meats to come to room temperature so that the meat, a muscle, does not seize and toughen when placed on a hot grill or skillet.  

To the hot Italian sausage, I added a stingy pinch of lavender salt (since the sausage contains a lot of sodium to begin with), about a quarter teaspoon or so of Herbs de Provence, two cloves of finely chopped garlic and a quarter cup of finely chopped flat leaf Italian parsley.  If you are wondering, lavender salt can probably be found at your local gourmet supply store.  I happily take a day trip to the wonderful Napa Wine Country town of Sonoma and purchase it (along with Hawaiian red dirt sea salt) at a fantastic gourmet store I happened upon on a visit there a couple of years ago.  I incorporated the above ingredients in the sausage, formed three sausage balls and stuffed each chop.  

I seared the chops, about four minutes per side, in a skillet over medium-high heat; the oil had been infused with garlic, for extra flavor.  Afterward, I finished cooking them through slowly in the oven at 375-degrees for about thirty minutes, turning at the fifteen minute mark. 

For the chutney, in a high sided sauce pan,  I added a half cup of apple cider vinegar and brought that to a boil, and added two tablespoons of brown sugar and a quarter cup of yellow sweet raisins to that.  For an extra tang, and which ingredient was Not a part of the original recipe, I added two tablespoons of Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar.  It just sounded good to me, and it worked very well.  To that, I added two apples, cored and chopped into small pieces, two teaspoons of honey, a teaspoon of Cardamom and a teaspoon of Cinnamon.  I reduced the heat and allowed it meld and slightly melt, in a way, for almost forty minutes while the chops were searing then baking. After the first twenty minutes, I added another two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar for continued moisture. 

I removed the chops from the skillet (oven safe skillet) and allowed the meat to rest for about ten minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.  I topped my chop with the chutney and thoroughly enjoyed the sweet and tangy flavor distribution.  It starts off sweet and ends tangy on your palette.  So satisfying to cool off the heat of the hot Italian sausage.  In my opinion, a stunning pairing.  I could very well be wrong in the culinary world to think that, but you just have to taste it for yourself!

Thank you, gentle readers, for viewing this recipe!  I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as I did!