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Easy but dressy dinner ideas.

They're lamb or pork chops ... with a pocket of cheese

TUCKED INSIDE THESE chops lies a pocket of pungent cheese. In the first recipe, blue cheese and toasted pine nuts fill soy-marinated lamb chops. Tangy chevre cheese goes into sherry-infused pork chops for another choice. Both make easy-to-prepare, dressy dinner entrees.

To make the pockets, slit chops horizontally to the bone. Marinate the chops for extra flavor, then stuff the pockets with cheese. Grill the chops to brown the meat and warm the filling.

Lamb Chops with Blue Cheese Pockets

8 small lamb rib chops (about 2 lb. total), cut 1 inch thick 1/2 small onion (3-oz. piece), cut into chunks 1/4 cup soy sauce 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 large clove garlic Blue cheese filling (recipe follows)

Trim fat off lamb. With a sharp knife, cut a horizontal 1 1/2-inch-wide pocket in each lamb chop, from meaty side to the bone; set chops aside.

In a blender or food processor, whirl onion, soy sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, and garlic until smoothly pureed. Pour into a heavy plastic food bag. Add lamb chops. Seal bag; rotate to mix well. Chill at least 30 minutes or up to 6 hours; turn occasionally.

Lift out chops and drain, reserving marinade. Using a spoon, stuff 1/8 of the cheese filling deep into the pocket of each chop.

Place chops on a greased grill 4 to 6 inches above a solid bed of hot coals (you can hold your hand at grill level only 2 to 3 seconds).

Cook, basting twice with marinade and turning once, until meat is done to your liking in thickest part (cut to test), 6 to 8 minutes total for medium-rare. Serves 4.

Per serving: 316 cal. (54 percent from fat); 27 g protein; 19 g fat (6.4 g sat.); 12 g carbo.; 1,251 mg sodium; 75 mg chol.

Blue cheese filling. In a 6- to 8-inch frying pan, stir 1/3 cup pine nuts or slivered almonds often over medium heat until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour the nuts into a small bowl and mix with 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese. Add pepper to taste.

Pork Chops with Chevre Pockets

4 center-cut pork loin chops (about 2 lb. total), cut 1 inch thick 1/2 cup cream sherry 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 ounces chevre cheese Lemon wedges

Trim fat off pork. With a sharp knife, cut a horizontal 1 1/2-inch-wide slit in each chop, from meaty side to bone; widen it near bone. Set chops in a heavy plastic food bag. Add sherry and lemon juice. Seal bag; rotate to mix. Chill at least 30 minutes or up to 6 hours; turn occasionally. Lift out chops and drain, reserving marinade. Stuff 1/4 of cheese deep into each pocket. Place chops on a greased grill 4 to 6 inches above a solid bed of medium coals (you can hold your hand at grill level only 4 to 5 seconds). Cook, basting with marinade and turning once, just until meat is no longer pink in thickest part (cut to test), 10 to 14 minutes total. Offer lemon wedges to squeeze onto meat. Serves 4.

Per serving: 338 cal. (40 percent from fat); 37 g protein; 15 g fat (3.9 g sat.); 4.5 g carbo.; 228 mg sodium; 106 mg chol.
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Title Annotation:recipes
Author:Lipman, Karyn I.
Publication:Sunset
Date:Apr 1, 1993
Words:570
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