Pork chops with a surprise -- pasta

April 29, 1992|By Nancy Byal | Nancy Byal,Better Homes and Gardens Magazine

These grilled pork chops are bursting with a surprise stuffing -- one that's based on pasta. Acini de pepe (little peppercorn in Italian) is a very tiny, round pasta that cooks about twice as fast as other noodles. You'll find it in the pasta section of your supermarket.

Honey-orange pork chops

Makes 4 servings.

2 medium oranges

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard

2 tablespoons orange marmalade

2 tablespoons vinegar

3/4 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup acini de pepe

4 green onions, thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

4 pork loin rib chops, cut 1 1/4 inches thick

Peel and section the oranges over a bowl, reserving any juice. Coarsely chop the orange sections; set aside. For glaze, in a small saucepan blend honey and Dijon-style mustard. Stir in orange marmalade and vinegar. Heat and stir the mixture until the marmalade is melted. Remove from heat; set saucepan aside.

For stuffing, in a saucepan bring chicken broth to boiling; add acini de pepe, green onions and ginger. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes or until acini de pepe is tender. Remove from heat. Fold in orange sections, 2 tablespoons reserved juice, 2 tablespoons of the honey glaze and celery.

Cut a pocket in each pork chop by cutting from the fat side almost to the bone. Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons stuffing into each chop. Fasten pockets with a wooden pick. Fold a large sheet of foil into a double thickness; spoon on any remaining stuffing. Fold foil into a pouch; set aside.

In a covered grill arrange preheated coals around a drip pan. Test for medium heat above the pan. Place the stuffed pork chops on the grill rack over the drip pan but not over the coals. Lower the grill hood; grill for 15 minutes. Turn chops and brush with some of the honey glaze.

Place the foil packet of stuffing on the grill next to the chops. Cover and grill for 15 to 20 minutes more or until the chops are done. Brush both sides of chops with remaining honey glaze before serving. Serve chops with extra stuffing.

For honey-apricot pork chops: prepare honey-orange pork chops as above, except prepare the stuffing using 1/3 cup snipped dried apricots instead of the fresh oranges. Increase the chicken broth to 1 cup to cook acini de pepe. For glaze, use apricot preserves in place of the orange marmalade. Stuff and grill pork chops as directed.

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