Thursday, March 31, 2011

Baked Pork Chops with Swiss Chard

Sometimes you need a dinner that you can just throw in the oven and walk away from.  This is one of the best recipes I have found for baked pork chops.  You don't have to stuff the pork chops or babysit them.  Instead you toss a mixture of Swiss chard and cheese, and then top it with two pork chops simply seasoned with salt and pepper.  If you really want to get fancy you could brine the pork chops first, but I don't think it's totally necessary if you're using nice pork chops.  We used two organic center-cut, bone-in duBreton pork chops.  If you can find them, they are really nice - tender, juicy, and more flavorful than your average grocery store pork chop.  Even if you can't find duBreton products, you should try to get center-cut, bone-in pork chops because they really are that much tastier and the bone keeps the pork moist.  Granted, they take a little longer to cook, but it's well worth the extra few minutes of cooking time.  Anyway, this recipe came from a basic Food & Wine recipe that we first made about two years ago.  The first time we made it, it was a little bland.  When you managed to get a little bit of everything in one bite, it was pretty good, but the individual components were a little boring.  So we jazzed it up a little by adding onions, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic and more cheese.  Those simple additions made all of the difference.  This dish is something that I would serve for any family dinner.  It's relatively healthy (with lean pork instead of a fattier meat and a mountain of Swiss chard), quick and easy to throw together, and very tasty.

Recipe after the jump!

Baked Pork Chops with Swiss Chard

Adapted from Food & Wine

2 bunches Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves washed and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
kosher salt
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup sweet yellow onion, diced
3 tbsp evoo
2 tbsp Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
1/2 cup fontina cheese, grated
2 bone-in, center-cut pork chops, about 1 inch thick (about 1 1/2 lbs)

Heat the oven to 450°.  Combine Swiss chard, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic and onions. Drizzle with 1 tbsp evoo and toss ingredients in the baking dish.  Top Swiss chard mixture with grated cheeses.

Rub the pork chops with 1 tbsp evoo, salt, and pepper.  Place the pork chops on top of the Swiss chard mixture.  Drizzle the remaining tbsp evoo over the chard and the pork chops.  Bake until the chops are just done, about 20 minutes.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

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