Friday Night Guests: Pork Chop Saltimbocca

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We have seriously hit a season change with this chilly weather. Thank god for red wine, good friends, furry dogs, seat warmers, firewood and reruns of Scandal.

Last Friday, all I wanted to do was stay at home with good friends, good wine and a nice casual dinner (with Winston at my feet). I love recipes that you can make at the last minute after a quick Fresh Market run afterwork (and sometimes the gym). This recipe for Pork Chops Saltimbocca is exactly that.

You can quickly stuff the thick cut pork chops and pan fry them while guests enjoy a glass of wine. Finish them off with garlicy sauteed spinach that will wilt before you can blink.

I served the pork chops with roasted potatoes but any starch or salad will be complimentary. That, and an unspeakable amount of red wine and laughter.

Don’t let time hold you back from entertaining.

Pork Chops Saltimbocca with Sautéed Spinach, from Gourmet Magazine 

  • 2 (1-inch-thick) center-cut rib pork chops
  • 2 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 very thin slices Italian Fontina
  • 2 thin slices prosciutto (1 ounce)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 (10-ounces) bag fresh spinach, stems discarded
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in middle.

Cut a deep, wide pocket in each pork chop. Sprinkle half of sage into each pocket and stuff pockets with cheese and prosciutto. Pat chops dry and season with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper (total).

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch ovenproof heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Cook chops until undersides are golden, about 2 minutes, then turn chops and transfer skillet to oven. Roast until cooked through, about 5 minutes.

While chops cook, heat remaining tablespoon oil in a 5-quart pot over medium heat until it shimmers. Sauté garlic until pale golden, about 30 seconds. Add spinach and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Season with salt.

Transfer chops to a platter. Add butter and lemon juice to hot skillet, stirring and scraping up brown bits, then pour sauce over pork.

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