Monday, May 3, 2010

Pork Alla Valdostana

Mrs. Hackknife's cousin Glenn was kind enough to provide us with a stack of his favorite recipes earlier this year, and this is this first of the bunch that I've tried - it was delicious. He told me that he was given this Pork Alla Valdostana recipe (which originates from the Piedmont region of northern Italy, a place well known for outstanding wines and cuisine) from a local Italian woman that was (possibly clandestinely) teaching cooking classes out of her house. Glenn took one of her classes about 20 years ago and ended up with a decent haul of good, traditional Italian dishes to prepare at home.

(editor's note: if she discovers that I reproduced this recipe on the Internet, I may be in grave danger, but we are nothing if not risk-takers here at the Hackknife commissary)

4 boneless pork chops
8 slices prosciutto
4 slices Fontina cheese
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup flour
1 egg
2 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Pound pork chops until they are about 1/2 inch thick, then butterfly (i.e., cut them in the middle so that they fold open like a book).

2. Place one slice of cheese between two pieces of prosciutto, then fold inside pork chop halves. Repeat for remaining three chops.

3. Mix together bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Fold each pork chop closed, then dredge in flour, followed by egg, then bread crumb/cheese mixture.

4. Heat butter and 2 Tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat. When butter has melted, add stuffed breaded pork chops and brown (about 3 minutes per side).

5. Place skillet in preheated oven and bake chops for 20 minutes.

6. In another skillet, heat remaining 2 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook peppers/onions until they start to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Add vinegar, stir, and serve on top of pork chops.

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