This is a full-flavored, pungent, yet subtle special occasion dish. We served the meal with diced, spiced new potatoes with chopped onions baked in foil for 40 minutes, and a Caesar salad.
INGREDIENTS (for 2 servings):
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1/2 cup chopped Granny Smith apples
- ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup Gorgonzola cheese at room temperature, crumbled
- 2 thick cut pork chops
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup Gorgonzola cheese
- 3 tablespoons dry sherry
- 1/8 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
To make the apple stuffing: In a saute pan or skillet on medium heat, melt the butter and saute thyme, chopped apples, salt and pepper together until the apples are completely softened; about 15 to 20 minutes.
Place the apple mixture in a bowl and mix in 1/4 cup Gorgonzola cheese. The cheese should liquefy into the stuffing within a couple of minutes.
To prepare the pork chops: Butterfly the pork chops by slicing them parallel to the plane of the chop from the fat side to the bone. Stuff each one with about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the apple mixture.
Bake the chops for about 1 hour. Place the chops on a rack with the two stuffing sides pressed together to hold the stuffing inside the chops.
To make the sauce: Heat the oil in a saute pan or skillet on medium heat, then saute the garlic until transparent, and the cheese until slightly melting. Immediately add the sherry, let cook for a minute until combined, then add the cream and 1/4 cup of the chicken stock, salt and pepper. Stir until well blended. Stir occasionally and reduce the liquid on medium high heat until the sauce begins to toast/caramelize and turn darker brown. Add the remaining 1/4 cup chicken stock, reincorporate the cheese and continue reducing until there is just 1/4 to 1/2 cup of thick liquid remaining.