Monday, April 7, 2008

A Girl and Her Grill...Part I - Stuffed Pork Chops with Grilled Asparagus

Hi all! Jeffrey here. I thought I'd try my hand at this blogging thing, so please be patient with me as I work on my first ever post! As you may have read, Keetha decided that she (we, I should say) needed a place to share the things that we cook in the kitchen as well as outside on the grill, so here we are.

Friday night we christened her brand new charcoal grill with a dish that has been a frequent visitor to my grill over the years...with a twist that I hadn't thought of trying before.

We began by deciding on a mutually agreeable stuffing for the pork chops. I've routinely used sausage (various types ranging from smoked venison, beef, or pork to Andouille), boudin, crawfish tails, and rice dressing, all of which tasted wonderful! On this occasion, the stuffing of choice was a spinach and shrimp dip (sort of) placed inside a small slit cut into the heart of a boneless pork loin chop. And if that weren't enough pork fat, we wrapped the entire chop with bacon to keep everything nice and moist!! (I know, I know...all I can say in my defense is that when it comes to pork fat, the more the merrier!)

Spinach and Shrimp Dip Stuffing

10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained
1 envelope Knorr vegetable recipe mix
1/4 pound cooked peeled shrimp (20 to 25/lb count)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened (I'm sure you could use reduced- or no-fat. Um, we didn't.)
couple of tablespoons of sour cream
1/4 cup or thereabouts freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Beat the cream cheese in a bowl of a mixer, adding some sour cream to thin it out a bit. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Most likely better made the night before, although we didn't. You'll have leftovers, which go perfectly with crackers.

Stuffed Pork Chops
2-1 1/2" thick boneless pork loin chops
worcestershire to taste
Montreal Steak Seasoning to taste
Approximately 1/4 cup of freshly chopped parsley
2 sprigs of freshly chopped rosemary
6 slices of bacon (we used Wright's Pepper Bacon)

Cut a small slit in the chop side oppisite of the fat layer. Cut deeply, but be careful not to cut all the way through to the other side. You just want to create a pocket similar to pita bread. Stuff as much stuffing as will fit inside the slit and press firmly.

Wrap the stuffed side with 2 slices of bacon so that the entire chop is circled with bacon, and if that weren't enough...wrap 1 more slice of bacon across the chop in the opposite direction.

Add worcestershire sauce (we prefer Lea & Perrins) & Montreal Steak seasoning to taste on both sides of the chop. Finally, add the chopped parsley and rosemary to both sides of the chop, and this my friends, is what I would consider to be a beautiful sight!

After preparing the above "ingredients", we progressed outside to prepare the grill for cooking! Now, I must digress just a moment to say that The Lady had been told by well-meaning family and friends to not purchase a charcoal would be "too much trouble" and "too hard" to get just right for cooking. Well...

BEHOLD THE FIRE THAT KEETHA BUILT!!!!! (with just a tiny bit of coaching I might add) :-)

Then it was just a matter of reclining in our favorite lawn chairs (honestly, I just don't know any more Southern a term for chairs out on the lawn, or yard as we lovingly refer to them down here!) with beverage of choice and waiting for the coals to burn themselves down to a nice ashy white color for cooking. But wait, it's not quite time for those chops to be tenderly placed on the grill just yet. No true Southern grilling would be complete without first seasoning the grill with a nice appetizer. We decided on grilled boudin complete with a nice selection of Edam and cheddar cheeses.

Yes, my dear reader, it's FINALLY time! Once the boudin was removed from the grill and plated for enjoying in front of the grill with another beverage of choice, we placed the stuffed pork chops on the grill, slightly off center for a nice indirect cooking.

After the boudin and cheese were casually consumed (actually they were ravenously devoured...we were getting rather hungry by this point!), we moved back into the kitchen to prepare the asparagus.

We simply used these ingredients... a nice olive oil fortified with rosemary, thyme, garlic, and other tasty treats, worcestershire, and Montreal Steak seasoning (anyone picking up a pattern here?)

When the chops were getting close to being done, we placed the asparagus on the grill atop a grilling pan. This would be a small foil pan similar to a cookie sheet, but had perforations in the bottom to allow the charcoal to add a nice smokey flavor to them. The asparagus only needed roughly 5-7 minutes and they were done. Nice and tender with just a hint of dente` if you will.

And this is what we ended up with after fixing a small accompanying Salad (Keetha & I chose wine & cheese dressing this time for a different take on The Salad). This was paired with a very nice Pinot noir (hey, give us a break! We're new to this wine thing so we just drink what we like! Ha!). Oh, I almost forgot about the bread. You may have remembered reading about it here.

After time spent enjoying our creation while engaged in great conversation, we retired back to the aforementioned lawn chairs around the grill to enjoy a civilized nightcap...(who could stand dessert after all that food we just scarfed down!) The dishes could wait for later!!!

So that, in a nutshell, was Keetha's and my evening. Stay tuned for the next installment of "A Girl and Her Grill" where we'll be enjoying....... (now you don't think I'd let the cat out of the bag that easily do you?!?)


PS... I'd be rather wrong if I didn't acknowledge Keetha's assistance with this post.... THANKS KIDDO!!!!


Keetha said...

This meal was sublime, ya'll. The photos don't do it justice, although we tried!

jac said...

ok ya'll. i'm officially hongray! That looks like one incredible meal!

Pamela said...

Yumba! It was my goal to master the grill last summer or maybe 2 summers ago and I failed miserably. Maybe I'll do better this year.

Camellia said...

So, Mr.B.D. welcome to blogging. YOu're doin' great. And that grill thing..keep workin' it.

Joh said...

Wow, I don't even like pork and that sounds delicious. Also, I long for the days in the future when I can again own a grill. Us city folk don't get to much grillin' unfortunately.

Also also, I randomed across your blog, and was sucked in, since I'm a food blogger of sorts myself. Feel free to swing by! :)