“Throw It Together Tuesday”

So today is Thursday and I’m posting about what I created on Tuesday. Does that tell you how my week has gone so far? Anyway’s, Tuesday my wife and I had to babysit our two grandchildren Wednesday Renee 5 (Yes, that’s her real name, but we call her Winnie) and our grandson Finn who’s 2 and comparable to an F5 tornado with legs and arms. I had thawed out some chicken without any intent on how I was going to prepare it and I knew we wouldn’t be eating until later on that evening after my daughter came home and took the kids upstairs. (we live in a 2 family home and they live upstairs) so it was going to be a “wing it” kind of supper.

I made the kids a couple of grilled cheeses (Winnie says that my grilled cheeses are the best in the whole world) and rummaged through the fridge to get inspired. I came upon a small, unopened, container of Ricotta cheese, a pound of bacon and some fresh mushrooms. I also had a red pepper and some sweet onions as I always do, and despite the kids running around and my granddaughter asking me one hundred times if she could help me cook (she loves to cook), the creative juices began to flow and the light bulb above my head went form dim to bright.

I was going to make “Ricotta stuffed chicken wrapped in bacon.”   Let the creating begin . . .

 

“Ingredients”

  • 3-4 medium/large boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (you want them large enough to be able to cut a pocket)
  • Small container (about 1-1/12 cups) Ricotta cheese
  • 1 lb bacon (about 10-12 strips)
  • 1 onion (I used sweet) chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms (any kind) chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • Salt, pepper or your favorite seasoning for the chicken
  • Butter (about 2 tbsp)
  • Toothpicks (optional and obviously not to eat)

“Putting It All Together”

Set oven to 350 degrees

Saute onions, peppers and mushrooms in pan with butter just until softened. Add garlic and saute a couple more minutes. Remove from stove top and let cool for a few minutes.

Veggie's

Veggie’s

Using a paring knife, start at one end of chicken breast and gently cut to the other side to form a pocket. Do not cut all the way through. Season both sides of chicken breast.

In a small bowl combine Ricotta cheese and cooked veggies. Mix well

On a piece of wax paper, lay out 3 strips of bacon

Take chicken breast and using a spoon stuff pocket with Ricotta mixture.

Place the stuffed breast over the 3 strips of bacon and bring the ends up to meet on top. Secure with toothpicks.

Place on cookie sheet or cast iron pan and then repeat process for remaining breasts.

Ricotta Mixture

Ricotta Mixture

bacon wrapped chicken before cooking

bacon wrapped chicken before cooking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have any Ricotta or bacon left over, I just place it on top of chicken before baking it. (optional)

Place in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and let it sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Ricotta stuffed chicken with bacon

Ricotta stuffed chicken with bacon

I hope you enjoy the music selection I’ve chosen for today, I’m calling it “Theme Song Thursday” Also, if you get a chance, please take a jog over to my other sites for some enlightening, funny and sometimes even educational post’s and pages; www.jamesrsirois.com    “Blogging Around With The Original Domestic God” and

www.iamperfectlychangedandawesome.com    Have a great day Y’all! Peace, Light and Love to all! Jim

“Bacon, Apple, Stuffed, Pork Chops . . . YUM!”

Bacon, Apple, Stuffed, Pork Chops

Bacon, Apple, Stuffed, Pork Chops

 

                                                            “Bacon, Apple, Stuffed, Pork Chops”

 

Performing all the tasks of the “Original Domestic God” can occasionally get, well . . . predictable and boring. (Cue really big yawn) and that includes cooking meals as well. And while it’s true that I have never in my life had a cooking lesson, I can, with great ease, comprehend the instructions written in a “how to manual,” er um . . . “recipe.”  

This “Domestic God” has also become well-versed in morphing recipes and testing out new food combinations that I believe will taste great. Yeah, sometimes that doesn’t go as planned and even my “Domestic dog and Domestic cat’s” won’t eat it. While my wife will politely come up with some excuse not to eat it, my middle daughter Sarah will come right out and say; “hey dad, what the hell did you make, this is terrible!” Then my wife will start to chuckle, I’ll laugh and soon we’re all laughing and I’m on the phone ordering a pizza. Luckily for me and my wallet, that doesn’t happen very often.

My “bacon, apple, stuffed, pork chops” is one of those recipes. I tweaked it just a little bit and the result was stupendous! The aroma that fills your house will make your mouth water (but not like when your mouth waters before you barf), but in a good way. So break out that tablet, iphone or pen and paper and get ready to write down this awesome recipe you can serve your family anytime. The prep work is a tad bit time consuming so don’t try to make this on a night when you’re pressed for time.

 

Ingredients for Bacon, Apple, Stuffed, Chops

Ingredients for Bacon, Apple, Stuffed, Chops

 

                                                                            “INGREDIENTS”

 

Cast Iron pan (my favorite, go-to pan or Dutch oven)

4-6 thick cut (1 1/2-2 inches) bone-in pork chops

3 sm/med apples (I use gala, but you can use what you like) cored and chopped

10 strips bacon cut into bite size pieces (before cooking), I actually used the whole package. There’s always room for more bacon! “Those who think bacon is bad for them should give up thinking!”

1 med red onion, chopped

3 sage leaves, finely chopped- 3 cloves garlic (1TBSP jarred, chopped garlic)- 2 stalks celery finely chopped- 1/4 cup chopped pecans- 2 tsp brown sugar- a few red pepper flakes (not too much now)

2-3 TBSP Lard

Toothpicks

Salt, pepper, chili powder, smoked paprika

 

“LET’S GET COOKING”

Set oven to 350 degrees

Melt lard over med heat and add bacon pieces. When bacon begins to crisp, add chopped apples and chopped red onions. Cook until the onions are softened and add garlic, chopped pecans, sage, pepper flakes and brown sugar. Cook an additional 3 minutes, remove from heat and transfer mixture to another pan or bowl to cool down.

Stuffing Mixture for Chops

Stuffing Mixture for Chops

 

While stuffing mix is cooling down, take your chops and using a sharp paring knife start at one end of the chop and wiggle the knife through it as you cut to the opposite end. You want to form a pocket 4-5 inches long and about 3 inches deep (about 70% of chop)

Next, season both sides of chops with salt, pepper, chili powder and smoked paprika. Put about 2/3 of the stuffing mixture in a separate bowl. The other 1/3 you have left over (if you don’t have to use all of it) you can put it on top of the chops later, but you don’t want the spoon/fork that’s touched the raw pork to touch the extra stuffing mixture.)

Take each seasoned chop and using a spoon or fork put as much of the stuffing mixture into the pocket as it will hold. Place toothpicks through chop to hold all that deliciously goodness in. Repeat with other chops. If you run out of stuffing mixture, use the other 1/3 you have set aside.

Heat the cast iron pan/Dutch oven over medium high heat. Place chops in pan and sear 2 minutes on both sides. Transfer pan/dutch oven into preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. If you have any stuffing mixture left over, evenly distribute it on top of chops and bake for another 5-6 minutes. Remove pan and let chops sit for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Bacon, Apple, Stuffed, Pork Chops

Bacon, Apple, Stuffed, Pork Chops

And for your listening enjoyment, how about some Carly Simon? I know you’ll like this song as much as I do and the title is so appropriate;  “The Stuff (ing) That Dreams Are made Of!”

 

Or maybe you might like to hear some Weezer and . . . “Pork and Beans!”

 

Peace to you my fellow bloggers, foodies and Super Hero Mom & Dad Chef’s!