Well, I didn’t know when I was making this dish that I would be starting a recipe archive, so there are no photos. You’ll have to imagine them. (Actually, it’s a lucky break, as I overcooked the chop and it was consequently dry and Not Very Sexy.)
The genesis of the idea: I was eating some Trader Joe’s gluten-free Ginger Snaps while thinking about a big thick pork chop I’d just pulled out of the freezer when I had a brainstorm: stuffed pork chops have always been a favorite of mine, but I can’t stuff them with bread because BREAD = DEATH in my Celiac-disease-ruled world. However, I thought, “ginger snap cookies could stand in for the breadcrumbs and I bet that would be genius!! Or… maybe not too tragic. Hopefully.”
So I looked up a recipe, and the first recipe I saw was for apple-stuffed pork chops, and I happen to have some gorgeous apples and LOVE THEM, so I thought, yes please! So suddenly I was planning ginger-snap-diced-apple stuffing.
All the recipes called for onions, and I thought if I caramelized them, that would be even better. So what I ended up with was ginger-snap diced-apple stuffing with caramelized onions in pork chops that I first browned in butter, then tragically overcooked because I was cuddling with the dog and watching a BBC documentary and forgot to get up and check them midway through the cooking time. Ooooops. 😀
Here’s my recipe, such as it is:
1 thick pork chop, butterflied for stuffing
1/4 apple (crisp, sweet variety), peeled and diced
1/3 onion, sliced in small slices
butter (the only reason I used olive oil for the first part and butter for the second part is that I didn’t think of butter until I was ready to brown the chop and I’d already put the oil away on the high shelf and yeah, I’m lazy, ok? So (cough). Be more organized than I am and your food will be awesome-er. 😀 )
***Preheat oven (or toaster oven) to 350F and line a small tray or pan with tin foil to make cleanup easier.
1) Heat a frying pan over medium heat. In a glug of olive oil, start frying the onions. You’re going to fry them past translucent, past what you’d consider browned, to what seems like burnt. The surface should have a slightly separated, blistery appearance while still white, and then get brownish black. The smell will be bitter, but if you cook them for long enough (but not until they’re charcoal) the onions will actually be sweet. — If you don’t trust me on this, you can just soften the onions in the oil. That works too. 😀
2) Add in the apple bits to brown them a bit.
3) When you’re nearly done, take one or two ginger snaps (mine weren’t too large, about the size of a quarter) and break them into the pan in pieces. Toss them to let them get warm and get the oil on them, etc.
4) When you’re happy with that, turn it out onto a plate and gently “stuff” it into the open pouch in the pork chop. Pierce the chop with a toothpick to help hold it shut while you’re browning it, but be careful if you’re going to be browning it in a non-stick pan, so you don’t scratch out all your non-stick.
5) Put a chunk of butter (ca 1 Tbsp) in the pan to melt. Then lay in your stuffed pork chop to brown, letting each side get nicely brown.
6) Once chop is brown, transfer it into oven in pan or tray. Set timer for 15 or 20 minutes – I cooked mine for 30 minutes, which was waaaay too long. I overcooked my pork chop. It didn’t burn but it was pretty dry. Just fyi. :}
7) When juices run clear (or if you’d rather cut it and make sure it’s cooked all the way through, whichever), you’re done.
Voila! I let mine cool for a couple minutes but then salted and peppered it and hit it like the wrath of a vengeful god. Yum!! 😀
If I had it to do over, I’d include more apple. Less time in the oven. But other than that, I think it was pretty dang good!!
**Note: this recipe is dedicated to my dog, Snaps, who is a ginger and therefore a ginger snap. xo