Secret Recipe Club: Stuffed Pork Chops with Ricotta and Spinach

by Kelly on March 19, 2012

This month marked the first time I was able to participate in Secret Recipe Club. I tried to join quite a while ago but the group was full so when I received an e-mail announcing that they had an opening I was thrilled to take part. Essentially, each month you are assigned another blogger and challenged with making one of their recipes.  They have no idea who will be cooking from their blog until everyone’s posts are revealed on the exact same day at the exact same time.  I was intrigued because it seemed like a great way to meet, albeit virtually, even more bloggers and to try even more new recipes.

I was given Cooking in Stilettos, which was fun because while I am sure I have visited her blog a few times, I’d yet to make a recipe.  With my love of cheese it is no surprise that a recipe for Stuffed Pork Chops with Ricotta and Spinach stuck out to me.  Separately, I love ricotta and I loved pork, but I’d never thought about how they’d work together.  This was my chance to find out.

Aly’s recipe involved making a filling of ricotta, spinach, shallots, garlic, and Parmesan to be stuffed inside butterflied chops.  In essence, the filling is a bit like a deliciously creamy spinach dip.  I made a few changes.  First, I sized the recipe down for two people since only my friend and I would be having dinner.  I also added more cheese than the recipe originally called for because I adore cheese and used frozen spinach since it was cheaper at my local grocery store.  I also used 2 center cut pork loin chops because they are a little leaner.  Since there is no bone attached you have to be a bit more careful that you don’t overcook them and make the meat tough and dry, but by lowering the oven temperature from its original 350 to 325 degrees F they cooked up beautifully.

Still, even with these changes I think the end product was still pretty close to what was intended and it was quite delicious.  The pork cooked up moist and tender and the filling was perfectly sumptuous.  The cheese made it creamy and rich, while the garlic, onion and spinach gave it great flavor and a bit of freshness.  I could have probably forgone the pork all together and just eaten the filling with a spoon or a piece of pita.

Thanks to Aly of Cooking in Stilettos for the great recipe and to the Secret Recipe Club for organizing everything.  I’m already looking forward to next month.

Stuffed Pork Chops with Ricotta and Spinach
Recipe originally by G. Garvin – Turn Up The Heat via Cooking in Stilettos
Serves 2

Ingredients:

-1 tablespoons unsalted butter
-4 teaspoons chopped garlic
-4 teaspoons chopped shallot
-8 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess moisture
-Salt and pepper to taste
-3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
-1/4 cup ricotta cheese
-2 center cut pork chops, butterflied and pounded so each are similar in thickness
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-Wooden toothpicks

Method:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In an oven-proof saute pan or cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and shallot; sauté until soft. Remove from the heat and stir in spinach. Remove from pan to a bowl and let cool.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the Parmesan and ricotta cheeses; mix well.

Season chops on both sides with remaining salt and pepper; pat seasonings into meat. Secure with tooth picks and use a fork to push any filling that has leaked out back into place.

In the oven-proof saute pan or cast iron skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown chops on both sides in hot oil until golden brown.

Transfer the pan to the preheated oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until cooked through.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) March 19, 2012 at 1:39 pm

What a cute idea! I want to sign up too! Knowing my luck though, I’d get paired with someone who uses oodles of truffle oil or something else terribly expensive, hah.

This looks delicious! I’m not a huge fan of pork, but I would edit the recipe for chicken and I think it’d be similar :)

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Jamie @ Cookin' with Moxie March 19, 2012 at 2:12 pm

I think pork chops are so versatile – I love cooking them for weeknight meals! This rendition looks copy-cat worthy!

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Eliot March 19, 2012 at 2:48 pm

These look gorgeous! Great SRC pick and I love the spinache

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Our Eating Habits March 19, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Welcome to the club! Great first pick!

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misschels March 19, 2012 at 6:26 pm

I absolutely love pork chops, especially STUFFED pork chops. These look delish!

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Aly ~ Cooking In Stilettos March 19, 2012 at 9:23 pm

This looks phenomenal! I adore your changes and think I might have to implement them myself :) . That filling is addictive isnt it

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Reeni March 22, 2012 at 5:15 pm

The wonderful filling makes these pork chops extra special! I bet it’d be really good on chicken too.

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Stephanie March 24, 2012 at 1:13 am

Stumbled onto your blog via the blog hop and just wanted to show you some blog luv! def enjoyed this post :) new follower!

http://infinitelifefitness.com
http://mscomposure.blogspot.com

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Lisa~~ March 25, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Welcome to the SRC and your first entry looks wonderful. I think that I would have had difficulty getting the stuffing into the chops as I probably would have snacked on it until it was gone. Great SRC choice.

If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to check out my Group ‘A’ SRC entry: Broiled Sushi.

Lisa~~
Cook Lisa Cook

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Desi March 26, 2012 at 12:24 pm

What a delicious pork chop recipe! And welcome to SRC, glad to have you! Thanks for stopping by my blog and checking out my Sausage Cheese Biscuits. Looking forward to seeing what you make next month :)

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5 Star Foodie March 26, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Very tasty, this sounds like a great recipe!

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Tracy March 27, 2012 at 10:40 pm

This looks so tasty and I have all the ingredients although my pork is frozen. Weekend cooking!

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Kelly March 28, 2012 at 10:45 am

I really couldn’t recommend this dish more highly. The filling is exceptionally tasty and the pork comes out quite moist. I’m really addicted to the filling and have been thinking it would also be delicious to stuff a chicken breast and that to switch it up, goat cheese would be a lovely swap for the ricotta. Thanks for stopping by!

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Shannon April 1, 2012 at 9:58 pm

absolutely delicious! LOVE the sounds of this… with goat cheese of course ;)

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