Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Avery's Havarti & Apple stuffed Pork Chops Recipe

Bistro Grillware from Williams Sonoma
Valentine's Day is over but that doesn't mean you can't make a lovely meal for your Valentine, post-Valentine's Day. And it doesn't need to be packed with sweets (though this one sort of on.)

Sweet Butter sweets
Also, I have to admit, I saw this sweets display at a local Sherman Oaks restaurant called Sweet Butter, and it looked so yummy that I had to take a picture and share it. The restaurant is known for its sweets!

Now, my Valentine happens to be out of town so I'm planning a great "reunion" dinner for Thursday with Krista's Trifle (oh, yum) for dessert. Okay, yes, there will be sweets!  Sue me. LOL

Here's a little "cuppa" I am giving him for Valentine's to help him keep on his diet after our Valentine's dinner. He loves his coffee, so I stuffed a mug with those sugar-free Werther's Candies.

Back to the main course.

I had to do a trial run of the entree to make sure that this meal was going to be good. I just wasn't sure. I had seen a recipe in the William Sonoma catalogue. Do you know about those? They have recipes in every catalogue. Of course, many require fancy-schmancy cookware. I went for the simple grilled meal. I did get this grillware at WS and I love it.

Now, most of the recipes have gluten (rats), so I have to tweak, but this one caught my eye. Pork stuffed with squash and apples. Well, I tweaked a ton, and what I came up with was something that tasted like Thanksgiving and Christmas all rolled into one. I'm so pleased with it that I can't wait to share it with my sweetheart.

The recipe in WS called for summer squash and onions and apples and bread crumbs. I took out the squash, added more apples, added syrup because, well, it sounded like a good fit! And I replaced the bread crumbs with crushed rice cereal that was gluten-free.  Voila. Stuffing!  A stuffing that I will create again and again on Thanksgiving from this day forward. And I added cheese, of course.  Havarti melted like a dream. Whee.

Can you tell I'm a little "high" from all the excitement this last week since my latest book, CLOBBERED BY CAMEMBERT, came out? I've been busy...busy with promotion and writing a new outline for a new book and finishing up the edits on the latest book (#5 in the series). My head is awhirl. But I'm having fun.

Oh, by the way...while I'm in the whee-stage.  I'm having a contest on my website. If you join my mailing list (so you can get up-to-date info on releases and other contests and such), you will be entered. All who are on the mailing list are contestants!!

In addition, I'm having a giveaway today.

Leave a comment. Two of you will win your choice of one of my three books: THE LONG QUICHE GOODBYE, LOST AND FONDUE, or CLOBBERED BY CAMEMBERT.

So lots to do today, in addition to salivating over a delicious new recipe.  Enjoy.



2  8-ounce pork chops
2 Tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon garlic
½ yellow (sweet) onion
1 Fuji apple
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon rosemary
½ teaspoon thyme
¼ cup rice check-style cereal (gluten-free)
4 ounces Havarti cheese
1 Tablespoon maple syrup + more for garnish


Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Slice pork chops, from the meaty side to the bone, creating a pocket in each. Set aside.
Dice onion and Fuji apple into small chunks. [Leave the skin on the Fuji). Pour the rice cereal into a bag and crush with your hands to make chunky. Set to the side.

Heat oil in skillet over medium-low heat. Saute onions and garlic until onions are clear, about 3-4 minutes. Add spices and Fuji apple and herbs. Saute for another 3-4 minutes. Add the rice cereal and stir.

Set pork chops on an oven-safe grill platter. Open the pockets and stuff about ¼ cup of the apple stuffing into the pocket. [RESERVE the rest of the stuffing in the saute pan.] Place about 2 ounces of Havarti cheese on top of the stuffing in each chop. Close the pork chops. {This is a bit messy and pieces will fall out.}  Brush the top of the pork chop with maple syrup.
Set platter of chops in a hot oven. Cook 3 minutes. Flip the pork chop and cook 3 more minutes. Flip once more and REDUCE heat. Cook for 20-30 minutes at 300 degrees. Remove from oven and cover with foil while doing the next step.

Reheat the remaining stuffing in the skillet. Add a little more syrup as you stir.
Plate the pork chops. Top with extra stuffing. Drizzle with syrup, if you like.

By the way, I decided the next day to have the leftover apple stuffing that I hadn't been able to fit into the pork chops. The picture isn't great.  I set the stuffing on a plate, topped with extra Havarti cheese and put in the microwave on medium-high for about a minute. I added some leftover chicken breasts slices and slices of apples.  It was light, tasty, and a perfect midday meal.
** Note: yes, of course this may be made with regular bread crumbs for those of you who can eat them.

Say cheese!

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  1. This recipe sounds absolutely delightful...but now I need to buy one of those grill pans. I look forward to reading your latest...a friend in Houston graciously went to your book signing for me-so I'm looking forward to receiving it in the mail!

  2. Katreader, aren't you up late!!! I just checked this before heading to bed myself. Yes, the grill pan has been a savior to me. I can grill in the kitchen without smoking up the whole darned place. It's fabulous. And I'm so thrilled to hear a friend in Houston got you a book. We had such fun time at Murder by the Book!


  3. I adore the idea of anything that tastes like Thanksgiving and Christmas all rolled into one. Thank goodness for experimentation!

  4. Avery - This is a fabulous recipe and your tweaks are great. (You and I clearly have a thing for maple syrup, yep!) LOL on the gift for your Valentine. (Heart mug with sugar free candy.) Keeping him on his diet; now that's love. :)

    Congrats again on the success of CLOBBERED and happy writing on the new outline, too!

    ~ Cleo

    1. Thanks, Cleo. Yeah, the maple syrup thing... I do adore it. Scrambled egg that happen to slip into the syrup left over from a waffle. Yum. Candies with maple flavor? Yum. And I'm glad you noticed the sugar-free candies for my sweetie. They sure help at times.

      Thanks for all the good wishes re: CLOBBERED. It's done very well so far. I hope readers continue to savor a new series.

  5. Those look very yummy. You have so many great ideas - foods and books! Thanks for all

    1. So Sarah Sew: Thanks! I try to keep my mind whirling with new ideas. Sometimes experiments don't work, but this one did. :)


    2. Apples and pork are such a wonderful combination. I always look forward to combining them in apple season. This looks delicious! What a lucky Valentine!

      ~ Krista

    3. Krista, you mean just having me by myself wouldn't make him lucky? LOL!!


  6. Sounds like delicious eating is in your future. I know gluten-free eating is not easy. My daughter is allergic to MSG so we have to check ingredients when buying groceries (even chips have it) but also when eating out. So many places don't know if there is MSG in their food so when they are not sure she can't eat there. She has to have her epie pen with her at all times. The first time she had a reaction 10 yrs ago she stopped breathing just as her friend got her to the doctors office. Thank goodness they realized what was happening.

    I love cozy mysteries and looking forward to reading Clobbered and the other books in series. I already have them on my wish list. Keep writing those great cozies..Congratulations on Clobbered.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    1. Miss Kallie, I did not know that MSG reaction could be anaphylactic. Wow! I'm so sorry for your daughter. And you. The stress has to be unimaginable. A friend has a son with four anaphylactic types of allergies. Horrible. Let's hear it for the epie pen.

      Thanks for your kind wishes and interest.

      All the best,


  7. Oh this sounds divine!! I love fruit with pork and adding the Havarti sounds like a wonderful idea!

    I think I know what's for dinner this weekend.

    1. Deb, so nice to see you! Let me know how dinner turns out. This recipe will be a keeper for me for Thanksgiving stuffing, too. :)


  8. Sounds yummy. I'm going to have to try it.