Saturday, January 9, 2010

Everyday Italian with SweetP

I might not be the next Food Network chef but I sure know how to adapt a good recipe when I see one. I was lazing in front of channel 62 the other day while thinking of a healthy but yummy meal for dinner when Everyday Italian came on with Giada De Laurentiis in her usual cleavage baring top and glistening smile. She had just returned from a spa in AZ and introduced two healthy dishes with a touch of Italian: Pork chops stuffed with sundried tomatoes, spinach and goat cheese as well as an Italian traditional 'bread' salad called Panzanella with artichokes and fresh tomatoes. I hurried to the supermarket and bought all the ingredients home.

Dinner was as scumptious as I imagined it to be. The flavors were new and refreshing, with a hint of Greek with the added olives and basil to the salad. I substituted the goat cheese for a less offending feta cheese and the result of the pork chops were amazing. I just can't get over how good it tastes! Giada proves shes right once again!

Pork Chops w/ SunDried Tomatoes and Spinach Recipe (adapted from Food Network)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes, diced
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag of frozen spinach, thawed and excess water squeezed out
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme ( I used Italian seasoning)
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 4 (4-ounce) center-cut pork chops/pork loin
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 lemon, zested
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Preheat oven to 400F.
Warm the 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, salt, pepper, and thyme. Cook until combined, about 2 more minutes. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Add the feta cheese and the cream cheese. Stir to combine and set aside.
Use a sharp knife to cut a pocket into the thickest portion of the pork chop. Stuff each pocket with 1/4 of the spinach and sun-dried tomato mixture and close the pork around the stuffing. Season the outside of the pork with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl combine the chicken broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, and mustard.
Warm the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot add the pork. Cook until golden and cooked through, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer the pork to the oven (400F) and bake for 10 more min. Add the chicken broth mixture to the skillet over medium-high heat. Scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan as the chicken broth simmers. Reduce the broth by half to make a light sauce, about 8 minutes. Spoon some sauce over the pork before serving.

Recipe for the Artichoke and Tomato Panzanella can be found here.

I leave you with a picture of Mr. Binky. He is a true glutton.


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