I am quite proud of this meal, both because it turned out really great and because of the local ingredients. I’m actually going to share two recipes, my pork chops and the side dish, a mixed whole grain cold salad. I also served sauteed locally grown broccoli raab on the side.
Sage Apple Stuffed Pork Chops
2 boneless thick cut pork chops (mine were from Carlton Farms, about 35 miles away)
1 granny smith apple (mine was grown in Washington)
1 cup unseasoned stuffing croutons (or seasoned if you want, just go easy on added seasonings– you probably won’t need any salt)
1 teaspoon sage
a couple grinds of fresh pepper
1/2 – 3/4 cup of vegetable or chicken stock
2 slices cooked and chopped bacon, optional
Preheat grill on medium to 350 degrees. Peel and dice apple (you can toss it in a touch of lemon juice to keep it from browning). In a small bowl combine diced apple, croutons, bacon, and spices. Add enough liquid to moisten bread, but not enough to allow any standing liquid in the bowl. Cut a pocket into each chop, fill with stuffing to edge.
I know, I know, you’ve always been told pork must be cooked well done. It’s not so, trichinosis is nearly non-existent these days because of higher industry standards for pig feed. In fact, most cases you see today are from home raised pork. So rejoice, you don’t have to eat dry pork anymore! I used to think I just didn’t like pork, I just had never had pork that wasn’t overcooked.
My second recipe is a knock-off of a cold barley salad I enjoyed from my local grocery store deli. I decided to try it with Bob’s Red Mill’s Grande Whole Grain, a mix of whole grain wheat, rice, oats, rye, triticale, barley, Kamut®, buckwheat, and sesame seeds. Sorry, but I did not keep track of measurements with this recipe, so I will approximate, but you can adjust things according to what you like.
Whole Grain Cold Salad
1 cup Grande Whole Grain Cereal, cooked to package directions (substitute any whole grain or grain blend here, I used vegetable stock as my cooking liquid to add flavor)
1/4 yellow sweet bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 red sweet bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sliced sun dried tomatoes
1 bunch parsley, chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Allow the cooked grains to cool completely before assembling the salad. Toss in sweet peppers, red onion, and sun dried tomatoes along with chopped parsley. In a small bowl whisk olive oil into red wine vinegar, season with salt and pepper. Pour dressing over grains and toss.
This will keep fantastically in the fridge as a quick snack or side dish. The original had sliced black olives in it, too, but I forgot to get some during my weekly grocery shopping, so I did without.