Saturday, March 31, 2007

Crab and Tasso Stuffed Pork Chops

I became enamored with the food of the low country while working on Fripp Island, South Carolina. There are some similarities with cajun food, both have a heavy African influence mixed with a melange of other cultures. Serve over puree of yucca and celery root with bourbon glazed roasted carrots.

Photo by Chris Kohanek

6 pork center loin chops -- about 8 to 10 ounces each

Brine
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 lemons -- thinly sliced
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 sprigs parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup table salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Stuffing
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red onion -- diced
  • 1/4 cup celery -- diced
  • 1 clove garlic -- minced
  • 1 jalapeno -- seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup tasso ham -- diced
  • 8 oz crab meat -- picked clean
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

For the Brine:

Put everything in a stockpot and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Refrigerate until cold.

Place pork chops in brine and allow to brine for two hours in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile, make the stuffing.

Heat the oil in a saute pan until shimmering. Add onion, celery, pepper, and garlic. Saute until softened, but not browned, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Toss to mix and season with salt and pepper. Place in the refrigerator until needed.

Remove the pork chops from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the brine.

Slice a pocket into each chop. Fill each pocket with the stuffing.

Preheat a grill or grillpan. Grill the chops, about 5-8 minutes per side, until cooked through.

Recipe by Dan Turro

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