May 12, 2014

Instead of grabbing a package of ground beef or chicken breasts for dinner, reach for pork instead. Pork chops are an effortless way to add pizazz to dinner time. Take the time to add a little flavor to pork, and it will go a long way.

Pepper-Stuffed Pork Chops

These succulent chops by Taste of Home practically overflow with delectable stuffing. They are a great change of pace, especially for company.

1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

2 teaspoons olive oil, divided

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup cubed bread

1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies, drained

1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed

1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

4 bone-in pork rib chops (3/4 inch thick and 7 oz each)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, sauté the red pepper and onion in 1 teaspoon oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.

Stir in the bread cubes, chilies and corn; cook 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a bowl; stir in cheese.

Cut a pocket in each pork chop by slicing almost to the bone; fill with stuffing. Secure with toothpicks if necessary. Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper.

Coat the same skillet with cooking spray; add remaining oil. Cook chops over medium heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until browned. Reduce heat; cover and cook 5-8 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees. Discard toothpicks before serving.

Yield: 4 servings.

Tip for Making a Pocket in a Pork Chop:

With a sharp knife, make a horizontal slit in the middle (outside along the fat) of the pork chop by slicing from the edge almost to the bone

Orange Pork Stir Fry

This colorful stir fry is pleasing to the eye and the taste buds. Taste of Home has paired up orange juice and orange peel to pack a flavorful punch. The citrus tang provides a pleasing contrast to the pork. This dish is also lower in sodium than most stir fry dishes.

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/3 cup orange juice

1/3 cup teriyaki sauce

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons minced fresh gingerroot

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 to 1 teaspoon grated orange peel

1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 2-inch strips

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 pkg (16 oz) frozen Oriental-style stir-fry vegetables

hot cooked rice

In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and orange juice until smooth. Stir in the teriyaki sauce, mustard, ginger, garlic and orange peel; set aside.

In a large skillet or wok, stir-fry pork in oil until no longer pink; remove and keep warm. Add vegetables to the pan; cook and stir for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Stir orange juice mixture; add to pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in pork. Serve with rice.

Yield: 4 servings.

Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops

Giada De Laurentiis has a way to give pork chops an Italian flair. Her pork chops are juicy on the inside and crusty on the outside. Parmesan cheese gives the pork chops a savory bite.

2 large eggs

1 cup dried Italian-style bread crumbs

3/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan

4 (1/2 to 3/4-inch thick) center-cut pork loin chops (each about 10 to 12 oz)

salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 tablespoons olive oil

lemon wedges, for serving

Whisk the eggs in a pie plate to blend. Place the bread crumbs in another pie plate. Place the cheese in a third pie plate. Sprinkle the pork chops generously with salt and pepper. Coat the chops completely with the cheese, patting to adhere. Dip the chops into the eggs, then coat completely with the bread crumbs, patting to adhere.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a very large skillet over medium heat. Add pork chops, in batches if necessary, and cook until golden brown and the center reaches 150 degrees, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer the chops to plates and serve with lemon wedges.

Garlic Pork Chops

Usually we think of adding onion soup mix to our dishes, but how about brushing it on the outside of the meat instead? Pop the pork chops into the oven, add a side dish and salad and dinner's ready in a flash.

6 bone-in pork chops, 3/4 inch thick

1 envelope Lipton Recipe Secrets Savory Herb with Garlic Soup Mix

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange chops in broiler pan without the rack. Brush both sides of chops with Lipton Recipe Secrets Savory Herb with Garlic Soup Mix combined with Olive Oil. Bake chops 25 minutes or until done.

Remove chops to serving platter. Add hot water to pan and stir, scraping brown bits from bottom of pan. Serve sauce over chops.

Creamy Ranch Pork Chops and Ranch-Style Rice

These pork chops are something even your pickiest eaters will love and you'll love the ease of cooking them for your family.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 boneless pork chops, 3/4-inch thick (about 1 lb)

1 can (10 3/4 oz) Campbell's Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)

3/4 cup milk

1 envelope (1 oz) ranch salad dressing mix


Ranch-Style Rice (see instructions below)

Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook until browned on both sides.

Stir the soup, milk and 1/2 package salad dressing mix in the skillet and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the pork is cooked through. Sprinkle with the paprika. Serve with Ranch-Style Rice.

For the rice:

Heat 2 1/4 cups water and the remaining salad dressing mix in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat to a boil. Stir in 1 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice and cook according to the package directions.