Pork Chops Stuffed with Pine Nuts, Porcini Mushrooms & Pecorino
Pork Chops Stuffed with Pine Nuts, Porcini Mushrooms & Pecorino
Rating: (1 rated)
Recipe Yield: Serves 2

2 pork chops, (about 1 pound each)
2 whole stems rosemary
1/4 ounce (roughly 1/4 cup) dried porcini mushrooms
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup shredded pecorino cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper

Place the pork chops in a shallow baking dish. Dissolve 3 tablespoons of salt in 1 cup warm tap water. Mix with 2 cups of cold tap water and pour over the pork chops. Tuck the stems of rosemary around the pork chops. Brine for 20 minutes or up to 6 hours (refrigerate if brining for more than 20 minutes).

Cover the mushrooms in lukewarm tap water and let them soak for about 20 minutes. When completely soft, remove the mushrooms with a spoon, transfer them to a strainer, and rinse them under cool water. Mince finely. (The soaking liquid can be saved for another recipe; for more details see: How to Work with Dried Mushrooms)

Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat. Monitor them closely and shake the pan every few seconds. Watch for the pine nuts to start developing golden toasted spots on their sides — watch them like a hawk as this can happen very quickly. As soon as the majority of the pine nuts have spots, transfer them immediately to a clean container.

In a mixing bowl, combine the minced mushrooms, toasted pine nuts, pecorino, minced rosemary, and a few sprinkles of salt. Using a spoon or your fingers, mix the ingredients together until completely combined.

Remove the pork chops from the brine and pat them dry with paper towels. With your knife parallel to the cutting board, cut deep pockets into the sides of the pork chops. Divide the filling mixture between the pockets and press gently to sandwich the filling.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Place a nonstick or cast iron skillet in the oven to preheat as well. Once the oven is hot, use oven mitts to carefully remove the hot skillet and set it over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Turn on a vent fan or open a window.

Lay the pork chops in the hot skillet. You should hear them immediately begin to sizzle. Sear until the undersides of the chops are seared golden, 3 minutes. The chops may start to smoke a little — that's ok. Turn down the heat if it becomes excessive.

Use tongs to flip the pork chops to the other side. Immediately transfer the skillet to the oven using oven mitts. Roast until the pork chops are cooked through and register 140°F to 145°F in the thickest part of the meat with an instant-read thermometer. Cooking time will be 6 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness of the chops, how cool they were at the start of cooking, and whether they were brined. Start checking the chops at 6 minutes and continue checking

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