• 6 center-cut pork chops, each about 1 1/2 inches thick
  • 5 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped tasso or smoked ham
  • 1/4 tablespoon chopped pecans
  • 2 slices of bread, cut into 1inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup beef broth
  • 1 dash salt, freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne to taste
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 cup Italian style bread crumbs


Stuffed Pork Chops
Makes 6 servings

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

With a sharp pointed knife, cut a pocket in each chop. Set aside.

Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, tasso and pecans, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

In another skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and fry the bread crumbs until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove them from the skillet and drain on paper towels. Transfer them to a mixing bowl.

Add the beef broth to the onion and tasso mixture and season with salt, black pepper and cayenne. Stir the mixture together and pour it over the croutons in the bowl. Toss to mix.

Divide the stuffing into six portions and stuff into the pockets of the pork chops. Put the egg in a shallow bowl and put the bread crumbs in another shallow bowl. Dip the chops in the beaten egg, then dredge them in the bread crumbs, pressing in the crumbs with your fingers.
Place the chops in a lightly oiled shallow baking pan and cover them lightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Serve warm

Asparagus and Pecan Sauce
Makes 6 Servings
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed
6 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
lemon zest for garnish

Combine the water and salt in a skillet and bring to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook until they are tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain and cool in an ice water bath. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the lemon juice and orange juice and whisk to blend. Cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange the asparagus on a serving platter and drizzle with the sauce. Serve immediately.