Figs add flair to mild-flavored pork chops


May 23, 2007|By Robin Mather Jenkins | Robin Mather Jenkins,Chicago Tribune

Pork has such an affinity for fruit that I almost always reach for apples with one hand when the other picks up pork chops. Apples, pears, apricots, peaches, cherries: All are fare friends to pork's mild flavor.

Lately, however, I've conceived a passion for figs. Of course, because they're not in season, I've contented myself with their dried incarnations. As passion will do, my new fig-love inspired me to combine them into a savory, nut-crunchy stuffing for the otherwise insipid boneless loin chop.

This dish is plenty rich enough to serve to company, but easy and fast enough to set on the table on a busy weeknight, too.

Robin Mather Jenkins writes for the Chicago Tribune, which provided the recipe analysis.

Baked Pork Chops With Figs and Walnuts

Serves 4 -- Total time: 45 minutes

four 6-ounce boneless pork loin chops

1 package (9 ounces) dried mission figs

1 small onion, quartered

1 clove garlic

2 slices whole-grain bread, torn into small pieces

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

2 tablespoons fig or raspberry jam

1/2 teaspoon each: dried thyme, salt

freshly ground pepper

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Make a horizontal cut about halfway through each pork chop to form a pocket, but do not cut through the chops; set aside.

Combine figs, onion and garlic in a food processor or blender; pulse several times, until mixture is just coarsely chopped. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl. Stir in bread, walnuts, jam and thyme; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Divide mixture among the 4 chops, stuffing it into each pocket. (If you have more stuffing than pork, add remainder to the baking dish; lay stuffed chops over extra stuffing mixture.) Bake until pork is no longer pink, about 30 minutes.

Per serving: 579 calories, 22 grams fat, 7 grams saturated fat, 105 milligrams cholesterol, 56 grams carbohydrate, 42 grams protein, 435 milligrams sodium, 8 grams fiber


Baked Pork Chops With Figs and Walnuts


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