Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Blue cheese-stuffed pork chops with pears

"Less is more," said me almost never.

Despite my less is more stature, I'm not one for keeping things simple.  In fact, it could be said that I regularly go out of my way to make things more involved and, occasionally, more prone to failure.  But, with increased risk comes the promise of greater reward, right?  Go big or go home.

For example, I won't settle for canned baked beans.  Instead, I follow Sally's lead and jazz them up with beef, bacon, and molasses.  They're the stuff of dreams, I tell you!

I wasn't content with one dessert at our wedding, so I set up an entire dessert bar, in addition to the cupcakes, complete with cookies, pie, torte, and candy.  Oh, and the favors were cookies, too. 

Heck, I even found one of my kind in my wonderful husband, who always, always adds bacon to his haluski, the traditional Polish cabbage dish.  He just gets me :)

So, when I swore up and down that I could, would, and should get out of the crock pot salsa pulled pork, um, habit in which we've happily been dining, I faced that all-too-familiar temptress known as Lady Complex as I perused new recipes.

(By the way, if you haven't made the salsa pulled pork yet, you must.)

With one glance at the results of my Google search, you might be mislead into thinking that sweet pulled pork is The One and Only Pork Recipe in the culinary universe.  Yes, it's popular.  Yes, it's delicious.  And, yes, it's popular because it's delicious.  But there is more beyond the Crock Pot.

...says the woman who literally hugs her slow cooker as she carries it to the pantry to store.

If you look hard enough, you'll find a world beyond the Crock Pot, where pork chops can be quickly and easily prepared on the stove-top.  In fact, the entire meal will take about 10 minutes to make.

And that pork doesn't require a smattering of spices; salt, pepper, olive oil, and a little butter are just enough  to create tender, delicious chops for dinner.

But, with just two more ingredients -- tangy blue cheese and juicy pears -- pork chops turn into a Bon Appetit cover-worthy kind of meal.

Just look.  How gorgeous is this?

And it tastes even better than it looks, which is all that really matters.  Savory, sweet, and all-around perfection from three ingredients.

Kind of makes me wonder what else could benefit from the less-is-more school of thought.  My shoe collection?  My to-do lists?

Nope.  Never gonna happen. 

One year ago: Broccoli slaw
Two years ago: Strawberry & chicken spinach salad
Three years ago: Asparagus & mushroom tart
Four years ago: Peanut butter & jelly bars

Blue Cheese-Stuffed Pork Chops with Pears
(adapted from this recipe)

4 4-ounce boneless center-cut pork loin chops
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
Ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons butter
1 ripe pear, cored and cut into 16 wedges

Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each pork chop to form a pocket.  Stuff 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese into each pocket.  Season both sides of pork chops with salt and pepper.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add olive oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Arrange pork chops in pan and saute for 3 minutes on each side (be careful not to overcook pork).  Remove pork from pan, and let stand for 5 minutes.

Melt butter in pan and swirl to coat. Add pear, season with salt and pepper.  Saute, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes or until lightly browned and caramelized.  Plate pork chops and spoon pear sauce on top and serve immediately.


  1. These stuffed pork chops look incredibly delicious! And I love the presentation :) Nicely done!

  2. These look so good! It is too hot in AZ to use the crock pot so I won't be using that for a few months.

    1. Tricia, these don't require the use of a Crock Pot, so you're in luck. Or... if you meant you aren't using the stove-top, try one of my slow cooker meals since they don't require you to turn on the hot oven :)