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Jalapeno Cornbread Stuffing in Pork Chops

I recently posted here about jalapeño cornbread and promised to write a follow-up with recipes that used it.  The first thing I’ve done is to make stuffing for pork chops.  Let me tell you, this is one of the best dishes I’ve made in a long time. Not recalling ever having made stuffing before, I referenced the Joy of Cooking for guidance. Guidance is the key word, here. Please understand that.  Unless I’m baking, my cooking is typically a dash of this and a bit of that. The recipe I followed [glanced at] was cut in half to start with and subsequently modified about every other step. I could not find a copy of this recipe online. It’s pretty long and I am not in a mood to type it out at the moment.  If you don’t have it or can’t find it, shoot me an email on my form here or leave a comment and I’ll scan it and send to you.

Using my iron skillet, I started out sautéing the bell peppers and onions in butter until tender.

Here, I added some more jalapeños and garlic into the mix. I did not add celery to this. Celery gives it more of a traditional taste and that’s definitely not what I was going for. I also left out the sage and thyme.  As memory serves me, I think I added some cilantro and cumin.  Just a few dashes of cumin and maybe a tablespoon or two of chopped cilantro.  A little bit of sea salt rounded off the top.

Once these ingredients were tender, I added in the crumbled cornbread, stirred, then added the chicken broth. (I used some that I had frozen from before.)

Below is the mix of cornbread and broth.  It should seem moist, but excessive liquid should not be in the bottom.  If there is too much liquid, add more cornbread or some breadcrumbs a little at a time.  Toss lightly to maintain larger pieces of cornbread.

Here, I pounded the chops with a mallet to tenderize and thin the meat. This makes it easier to wrap around the stuffing.

I used thin chops and rolled the meat around the stuffing, rather than using thick chops and slicing and stuffing the inside.  Once rolled, I wrapped a piece of bacon around the outside and held everything together with a toothpick.  Here, I used my smaller skillet, but it would be yummy to put the chops back in the skillet you cooked the stuffing in.

The chops were baked in the oven at about 400° until they got nice and brown.

We served it with some garlic sautéd Brussels Sprouts.  Needless to say, the two we made for lunch the next day were eaten that night.

Just a note from this past weekend: My mother and friend Carol served these at their supper club (about 40 people) and it apparently was a huge hit! Some of them have requested the recipe and I hope they come back here to tell me how it turned out!

Enjoy and report back if you try it or if you make something similar!

Cheers, O

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Posted by on April 12, 2012 in Food, What's For Dinner?

 

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Jalepeño Cornbread

Growing up, my mother always made cornbread and I must say, has been very good at it. On occasion she would make Mexican Cornbread. I’m not sure how she came into making it, but I always enjoyed it. As I remember, she would add a can of Mexican style canned corn to the batter and occasionally a chopped onion. The burst of the corn kernel and the crunch of the onion always appealed to my senses as a child.

Last night, while making chili, I wanted something different to accompany it. So Mexican cornbread it was. Not having the recipe or being able to get my mother on the phone at the moment, I went to the internet to find a good substitute. Of course, who did I find there? Ina herself. If there is another woman in the kitchen that I love besides my mother, its Ina Garten. After looking no further than the Barefoot Contessa recipe, I was ready to go. Jalepeno Cornbread sounded close enough and better. As it turns out, I decided to marry the two recipes and what a wonderful product I ended up with.

Here’s Ina’s recipe. Link to Food Network.

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread 2006, Barefoot Contessa at Home

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra to grease the pan
  • 8 ounces aged extra-sharp Cheddar, grated, divided
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts, plus extra for garnish, 3 scallions
  • 3 tablespoons seeded and minced fresh jalapeno peppers

Directions

Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and butter. With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until most of the lumps are dissolved. Don’t overmix! Mix in 2 cups of the grated Cheddar, the scallions and jalapenos, and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking pan.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining grated Cheddar and extra chopped scallions. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into large squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Here are my modifications:

First and foremost, this is a giant recipe.  I cut it in half right from the start.  She says that her’s makes 12 large pieces and she isn’t kidding.  In half, it filled a standard iron skillet for me.
In addition to the scallions, I had a little white onion left over from my chili and I wanted to add that.  So, I added about 1/4 of a cup. I added 2/3 of a cup of canned corn (or half of an 11 oz. can). Her recipe calls for 3 extra large eggs. I used 2 large for the half recipe.
In hindsight, I wish I had added the seeds of the jalepenos.  The extra heat would have been a welcomed addition.
I must say, this was truly some of the best cornbread I’ve ever eaten.  The recipe called for much more flour than meal, which is more Northern for sure. We didn’t mind one bit. The texture was cake like and fluffy.  Brandon (the bf) and I walked into the kitchen and said at the same time “Oh my god, that smells so good.” Believe me when I say it- it was so good.  He and I both forgot to take a picture of it when it came out of the oven because we were dying to eat it.  We couldn’t even wait for it to cool at all- which you will see by the crumbs and broken pieces below!! At any rate, I am exceptionally happy with this recipe.  I will probably play with it a little more and I’ve even thought about making some sort of stuffing out of it to accompany some pork. MMMMMM.  Stand by for that.
Cheers.  Olivia

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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Food, What's For Dinner?

 

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