Potato Wrapped Pork Chops with Mustard Cream Sauce
4 servings scale / convert
16 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 oz. fresh shiitake or wild mushrooms, stems removed and caps cut into strips
1 dash of Cognac
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 (6) boneless center cut pork loin chops
1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 lg. Idaho potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/2 tsp. salt
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
MUSTARD CREAM SAUCE
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 dash of Tabasco
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
BAKE THE GARLIC: Place the garlic cloves on a piece of foil and drizzle with the oil. Fold the edges of the foil over the garlic and twist the edges of the packet shut. Bake until the garlic is soft, about 30 minutes. Remove the packet from the oven and let cool. Carefully open the packet, reserving the oil. Peel the garlic cloves and set aside.
SAUTE THE MUSHROOMS: Melt the butter in a large skillet over moderate heat. Add the mushrooms and sauce until they are limp, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the cognac, and tilt the pan toward the flame to ignite it (or use a match if cooking on an electric stove). Shake the mushrooms in the pan until the flames die out. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside and allow to cool.
PREPARE THE CHOPS: Using a sharp paring knife, cut a deep pocket into one side of each pork chop. Lightly sprinkle the chops inside and out with salt and pepper. Insert 2 cloves of baked garlic inside each pocket, then stuff with 1 tablespoon of the sautéed mushrooms. Gently press on the chops to seal the pockets.
Lightly butter a large nonstick skillet and place it over moderately high heat. Add the chops and brown on each side for about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate to cool. Reserve the pan with the drippings for the sauce. Rub both sides of the chops with the thyme.
PREPARE THE POTATOES: Peel the potatoes. Use a mandolin or a vegetable peeler to cut the potatoes into long paper thin slices. Place the potato slices in a colander and sprinkle on the lemon juice and salt. Gently toss the slices with your hands to coat them evenly. Set the colander in the sink until the potatoes become very soft and pliable, about 10 minutes. Pat the slices dry with paper towel.
Generously butter a baking sheet.
WRAP THE CHOPS: Brush a large sheet of wax paper with melted butter. On the buttered paper, (slightly overlapping) SHINGLE about one quarter of the potato slices horizontally to form a 5 by 9 inch sheet. Gently brush the sheet of potatoes with melted butter. Center a chop across the potato sheet. Lift the bottom edge of the wax paper and fold it over to cover the chop with the potatoes and lightly press the wax paper to make the potatoes adhere to the chop. Peel back the wax paper. Lift the top edge of the wax paper and fold it over to cover the chop with the potatoes; lightly press down to make them adhere. Brush the potatoes with melted butter. Don’t be concerned if the potatoes have started to brown around the edges. The melted butter will act as a protective coating and prevent them from discoloring further. Insert a wide spatula under the chop and transfer it to the prepared baking sheet.
Wrap the remaining chops in the same fashion. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes for the butter to seal the potatoes. NOTE: The wrapped pork chops can be prepared up to 4 hours ahead, covered, and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before cooking.
Preheat the oven broiler.
MAKE THE SAUCE: Add the remaining 8 cloves baked garlic and the reserved oil to the pan of drippings. Use the back of a wooden spoon to mash the cloves into a paste. Mix in the sour cream, heavy cream, lemon juice, mustard, and chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a boil over moderately high heat, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer until the sauce is lightly thickened and coats the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Season the sauce with salt, pepper, and Tabasco, and cover the pan to keep the sauce warm.
COOK THE PORK CHOPS; Place the chops under the broiler 6 inches from the heat source and broil until the potatoes are browned and crisp, about 4 minutes. Using a wide spatula, turn the chops over and broil for 3 more minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 F. and bake for 15 minutes, brushing the chops occasionally with the butter that accumulates on the baking sheet.
TO SERVE: Spoon the mustard cream sauce onto warm dinner plates, and place the chops on top. Serves 4.
Note: Fresh shiitake mushrooms are available in many well stocked supermarkets. Some markets call them Black Forest mushrooms.
It is very important that you choose the largest potatoes available to prepare this dish. They should measure approximately 5 inches long by 2 ½ inches wide and weight at least 8 ounces each.
The potato wrapping can be used on boneless and skinless fish steaks such as salmon, swordfish, or tuna weighting about 6 ounces each. Season the fish with salt and pepper to taste, then brush lightly with melted butter or olive oil. Wrap each fish steak in potato slices the same way as for the pork chops. Simply broil the fillets until the potato skin is golden and crisp and the fish flakes easily when pierced with a fork, about 5 minutes on each side.
Cooking Under Wraps
Boneless center cut pork loin chops are stuffed with garlic and mushrooms, then wrapped in paper thin slices of potato and broiled. An easy to do prepare creamy sauce with Dijon mustard and baked garlic perfectly complements the crunchiness of the potato and the assertive flavors of the stuffed pork. This elegant dish will please both your family and your most discriminating guests.
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