So here’s a little fun fact for you: I don’t really like pork chops. I mean, I’ll eat them if they’re in front of me, but if I have a choice between pork chops and literally any other piece of meat, I’m going to choose the other piece of meat. Every time. I don’t know what it is about them that just isn’t that appealing to me. But I would always rather eat something else.
That said, I still make pork chops every now and then. I make so many dishes with chicken and ground turkey, and sometimes you just need to change it up. But the idea of eating a plain pan fried or grilled pork chop (even if it’s nicely seasoned) kind of grosses me out, unfortunately for Peter (if it was up to him, he would eat plain grilled meat for every meal for the rest of his life). So that means I have to get creative when it comes to dinner when pork chop night rolls around.
The last few times I made pork chops, I burned the bajeesus out of them by attempting to saute them up after breading them. They were disgusting and could only be saved by glopping on a large portion of marinara sauce to cover the taste of burned panko that remained even after I had tried to scrape most of it off. There had to be a better way! (I am, of course, saying that last sentence in my best bad-infomercial voice)
So I did what I usually do…. ADD CHEESE! Cheese makes everything better. Gross pork chops? Add cheese! Bad day at work? Add cheese! Stubbed your toe? Add cheese! Ok maybe not that last one…. don’t actually put cheese on your stubbed toe. I’m a medical professional, and I can say that without a doubt that cheese will not fix a stubbed toe. But you could eat a piece of cheese to help you forget about your throbbing foot. I’m pretty positive it would at least improve your mood a little.
So I did a little research and apparently gouda pairs well with pork. Gouda is gooda with pork (see what I did there? Damn I’m funny). So I rolled some pork chops around a slice of gouda, dunked those rolls in some panko (because I just love my panko and use it every chance I get. So sue me), and decided to bake them in the oven. Why did I decide to bake them in the oven, you ask? Because I was hoping that it would decrease my chances of burning the crap out of them this time.
Guess what? It worked! And these pork chops were deeeeelish! In fact, after I’d finished eating dinner I thought to myself “Damn! That was actually really good! I would totally eat that again.” Which has literally NEVER happened to me after eating pork chops. Ever. In the history of life. It’s was a miracle!
The combination of the pork, the gouda, and the panko breadcrumbs made for an amazingly tasty piece of meat. The cheese gets all melty and gooey in the oven, so make sure that you bake the rolls seam side up, or all the cheese will goo out all over the pan and you won’t get to eat all that cheesy amazingness (Not that that happened to me….). I loved that there was so little prep work involved; it was a perfect fit for last night when I was determined to take Charlie on a walk after work and enjoy the beautiful weather before it vanished. I already can’t wait to make this again!
Gouda-Stuffed Pork Chops
- 1 egg white
- 1/4 cup Italian seasoned panko breadcrumbs
- 2 pork chops, trimmed of fat
- 2 slices gouda cheese (I use Sargento)
- Preheat oven to 425. Place a cooling rack on a baking sheet and spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside. Place egg white in a small bowl and beat lightly with a fork. Set aside. Pour panko breadcrumbs into a separate small bowl. Set aside.
- Place pork chops in between two pieces of plastic wrap. Using a meat hammer/tenderizer or a rolling pin, pound pork chops until thin and even, about 1/2 inch thick. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Place 1 slice of the gouda cheese on top of each pork chop. Roll chop around cheese slice and secure with toothpicks to keep from unrolling.
- Dip each pork chop in the beaten egg white, then dip into breadcrumbs and roll around until completely coated. Place pork chops onto prepared baking rack, seam side up (if you do seam side down, all the cheese will melt out of the bottom and onto the pan). Bake for 18-20 minutes or until pork chops are cooked through.
- Turn oven to broil and continue baking until panko has browned, about 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to leave in the oven too long or the breading will burn.