Hands down, this is my wife's favorite dish. We first sampled this at Paul Prudhomme's New Orlean's restaurant, K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen. Many of you may remember Chef Paul from his PBS series back when PBS was the original Food Network. He introduced Cajun and Creole cooking to the world. His blackened redfish became so popular it almost fished out the species. Since we first vacationed in New Orleans (one of many trips, I LOVE the Big Easy), since we first sampled Chef Paul's dishes, the Louisiana Kitchen has always been at the top of our "must visit every trip" list. In a city of famous restaurants, K-Paul's is a highlight!
Chef Paul has even put a recipe for this dish on his website. You can check his fabulous version by clicking HERE. Over the years, I made a few adaptions, mostly for easier to find ingredients. It is simply delicious, with the heat of the Cajun spices, melding with the creamy goodness of the cheese sauce that has been absorbed into the meat... FROM THE INSIDE!!!
It is a stuffed chop after all...
2 THICK (at least 1 1/2 inch thick), Bone in Pork Chop
2 TBS Butter
2 TBS "Big Easy in a Jar" Cajun spice mix (Or substitute a commercial brand)
1/2 cup grated Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 cup grated Provolone
1/4 cup Ricotta Cheese
1/4 cup Asiago Cheese, grated
2 TBS Sour Cream
1 TBS "Not your Grandmother's Herbes de Provence" (or substitute a commercial herb blend)
The only tricky part of the recipe is to cut a 1 inch slice into the side of the chop, then insert a knife to cut a hollow pocket into the chop. Be careful not to slice through the edges (and into your hand). Use the sharpest knife you have available. The bigger the pocket you can cut, the more cheese sauce you can stuff inside. After the recipe, I have several photo aids to give you an idea of what I am talking about...
- Cut a pocket into each chop, as large as possible, keeping the opening as small as possible (See Photos)
- Mix all remaining ingredients (except the butter and Cajun spices)
- Load up the cheese mix into the chop, as much as it will hold.
- Seal up the opening with toothpicks.
- Rub the "Big Easy in a Jar" Cajun spice mix (Or substitute a commercial brand) all over the outside of each chop.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Heat a skillet, melt the butter and continue heating until the butter just starts to smoke, add the chop to blacken the spices. About 2 minutes per side.
- Move the chop to a baking dish, and finish cooking in the oven, about 12 minutes. Best to use a remote prop thermometer to make sure the internal temperature of the chop is 145 degrees.
And ENJOY one of my wife's "Top Five dishes"