Ever since I started making my own version of Martha's Apricot and goat cheese stuffed chicken breasts a few years ago, I have fallen in love with any combination of goat cheese and the sweet tartness of apricot preserves and dried apricots. I've spread this mixture on crackers, served them as a cheese platter at fancy fundraisers, and now...remade it into the feature of a lovely stuffed pork chop recipe. Though I'm a decent cook, I don't always write down my recipes, and not all my concoctions turn out to be worth repeating. :) Not only did my culinary experiment work this time, I also wrote it down. So, here it is...Comforting enough for a weeknight, special enough for company...
Goat Cheese and Apricot Stuffed Pork Chops with Apricot-Brandy Glaze
Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 45 mins | Total time: 1 hour 5 mins
Combine all ingredients for pork chop filling, and set aside. Cut a deep slit lengthwise into each pork chop, being careful to cut all the way through, but creating a deep pocket in each pork chop.
Generously salt and pepper all sides and pocket of each pork chop. Fill each chop with approximately 2 Tbs. filling. Close the seam of the pocket, and hold together with a toothpick in each chop. Set aside.
In a large heavy bottomed dutch oven, heat a few tablespoons oil, onions and the finely chopped apricots on medium heat. Cook until onions are translucent, and push onions and apricots to the edges of the pan.
Place sealed chops into the center of the pan, adding olive oil if necessary, and sear chops on medium-high heat, turning once to brown both sides.
Remove chops and set aside on a plate.
Turn the heat to medium-low, and add brandy to the pan, scraping the bits from the bottom of the pan. Add broth and preserves, stirring gently to combine all ingredient. Combine cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl, and mix well. Bring sauce to a gentle simmer, and slowly pour in cornstarch mixture, stirring continually with a whisk as the sauce thickens.
Finally, add chops back into the pan with the sauce. Cover with a lid and place in 350F oven for 15-20 minutes or until chop reads 145F.
To serve, remove toothpick, and ladle sauce/glaze over individual pork chop. Serve extra glaze on the side.