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Baked Stuffed Pork Chops
Cooking the leaner tender cuts of pork without drying out the meat can be tricky. This recipe which begins with a sear on the cooktop and a slow finish in the oven will yield not only incredibly flavorful pork chops, but they will be juicy and tender. A flavorful garlic herb paste is spread into a pocket that is carefully cut in the meat before cooking adding a delicious burst of flavor. Pair the chops with some roasted seasonal vegetables for an easy Convection Meal.
In order for the chops and vegetables to be ready at the same time, begin by heating the oven in the Convection or Convection Roast mode 325 degrees. Toss the vegetables with some olive oil and seasoning and spread onto a rimmed baking sheet.
2 - double cut, bone-in center pork chops
3 - cloves garlic, minced
1 - teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
½ - teaspoon, fresh thyme leaves, minced
1 - tablespoon, fennel fronds minced
1 - tablespoon olive oil
2 - tablespoons of butter
This the timing of the cooking plan:
Begin by cooking the cauliflower and carrots while searing the pork chops. This will take approx 10 minutes.
Once seared add the pork chops to the oven and set the timer for 8 minutes.
Remove the pork chops and set aside to rest.
Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees and continue cooking the vegetables for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve with the pork chops.
Begin by combining the garlic, herbs and olive oil, then carefully cut a pocket along the side of each chop and spread the mixture evenly inside each pocket.
Remember meats always cook best if they are at room temperature, especially the larger pieces such as these chops. Once you have prepared them for cooking, season with kosher salt and pepper and set aside to lose their chill.
When ready to cook, heat an oven proof pan over moderate heat then add in 2 tablespoons of butter and a little olive oil. When the butter is sizzling, lay the chops into the pan and leave them to brown without touching for approx 3 minutes. Carefully turn the chops and brown on the other side. Before moving the pan to the oven add a little acid to the pan, either a little white wine, sherry or verjus.
Set the timer for 8 minutes then carefully remove the pan from the oven and set it aside to cool.
Remember to leave a towel or oven mitt over the handle so you don’t accidentally burn yourself.
Now increase the heat in the oven to 400 degrees to make sure the vegetables achieve a nice caramelized finish. In ten minutes you will have perfect pork chops and a side of delicious caramelized roasted vegetables.
Roasted Cauliflower and Carrots
Cauliflower cut into ½” thick slices works well for roasting if you want to achieve a nice overall crispness. Paired with sliced multicolored carrots it makes an appealing side dish. I also sauteed some thinly sliced collard greens for added visual appeal and to add a lighter component to the meal.
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Almond Orange Olive Oil Cake
One of the great mysteries of the the appliance industry is that most ovens sold nowadays feature Convetion cooking modes; however, recipes rarely reference cooking with Convection.
1 - cup whole raw almonds lightly toasted and cooled
¾ - cup twice-sifted cake flour
1 ½ - teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of kosher or sea salt
4 - large eggs
1 - cup sugar
1 - teaspoon vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of one small orange or Meyer lemon
⅔ - cup extra virgin olive oil
Toast the almonds in the Convection Mode 325 degrees until golden brown inside, set aside to cool completely.
Leave the oven set at 325 or change to 350 degrees if using standard Bake Mode.
Butter the bottom and sides of a 9” round cake pan and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.
Place the almonds in a food processor with one third of the cake flour and process until almost as fine as sand.
In a medium sized bowl whisk together the remaining cake flour, baking powder and salt then whisk in the ground almond mixture.
In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the eggs on high speed until well-blended. Add the sugar gradually then add the vanilla and orange zest. Continue whipping on high speed until the mixture triples in volume, about 3 minutes.
On low speed, add the flour mixture in three batches alternating with the olive oil and beating just until the batter is blended.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until firm to the touch in the center. Cook in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a rack.
Recipe from “Wine Country Table ” author Janet Fletcher