Brie Stuff Crusted Pork Chops with Apricot Glaze

Photo taken by Nicole Ramos

I once tried these at a restaurant and at first I was scared. I never knew cheese could be so creamy. Brie cheese, which was named after a French region, is covered in a white rind that is edible. When I took my first bite, I fell in love! Brie, oh yes please! The melted mild, creamy cheese complimented the savory crust and the sweet & tangy Granny Smith Apple slices. So here is my take on the stuffed pork chops. I substituted the apple slices for a nice apricot glaze, which does the same job but I think it gives the pork chop a much better depth of flavor.

These pork chops are a masterpiece on their own, but a good combination would be some grilled asparagus in olive oil and some roasted garlic mashed potatoes. I find that a nice Beaujolais or buttery Chardonnay is an excellent pairing for a truly marvelous dinner.

INGREDIENTS:
4 Center Cut Pork loin Chops (boneless or bone-in)
2 C Bread crumbs
2 TBS Italian Seasoning
2 tsp House Seasoning (my blend is 3 parts Garlic Salt, to 1 part Ground Black Pepper & 1 part Salt)
2 lg eggs
1 C milk
2 TBS Olive oil
Brie Cheese

Apricot Glaze
½ C Apricot preserve
2 tsp sugar
1 TBS Grand Marnier or Apricot brandy (optional)

NOTE: **If you want to add a little character to the glaze, I recommend adding a pinch of cumin, paprika and red pepper flakes or if you are in a time crunch or lazy (like me sometimes!!) just scoop a dollop of apricot preserves onto the plate!**

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
2. Slice up the Brie cheese in small squares for easy stuffing. Remove the white rind, so you are just left with the creamy center.
3. Trim fat off the edge (if you have any) using a fillet knife, next, carefully cut a slit in the side of the pork chop. Be careful not to cut through the other side of the pork chop. Stuff the Brie cheese pieces into the slit.
4. Heat oil in pan on medium-high heat.
5. Combine Italian seasoning and bread crumbs. Whisk together to blend. In small bowl, whisk together milk & egg for the egg wash.
6. Lightly season each side of the pork chop with the house seasoning. Then dip into the egg wash and then into the bread crumbs. I like to do this process twice to generously coat the outside of the chops.
7. Sear both sides of the pork chops until golden brown (Approximately 3 min. on each side.)
8. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick oil (like Pam) and place the seared pork chops onto a baking sheet and then bake in the oven for 15-20 min.
9. To make the glaze: In a small saucepan, heat up apricot jam and sugar until a syrupy consistency, which takes approximately five minutes.
10. Let it cool and if you choose, add in the alcohol at this stage and mix. Drizzle the glaze over your pork chops. Most glaze recipes would tell you to strain the syrup to get out the fruit, but I think the fruit chunks add to the dish.

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