Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A savory bread saver

I went to a homeschool convention earlier this month and stayed at a hotel where I could take advantage of the in-suite mini-kitchen to prepare my solo meals.  I brought some favorite homemade foods like thick yogurt, nutty granola cereal and nectarine kombucha along in a cooler but stopped at the C'ville Great Harvest Bread Co. on my way over the mountain to pick up a loaf of their sliced honey-whole wheat bread since I didn't have enough time to make bread before I left.  Of course, as soon as you enter the bakery, someone offers a slice of just-baked bread -- this time it was a crusty slice of  a savory spinach feta bread.  Since it was a little heartier than plain, I picked up a round loaf to take with me for my dinner.

When I got back home a few days later, I still had about half a loaf of the spinach feta bread.  Cubed and dried in the dehydrator for several hours, it went into a jar on the pantry shelf.  Then yesterday, I had a package of pork chops and a can of apple pie filling (recently found at the back of a pantry shelf...) which I wanted to turn into several freezer meals DH could take to work, the dried bread cubes became the basis for homemade stovetop stuffing that was out of this world!

I used a very simple recipe from Kraft which called for browning chops in a little oil and then putting apple pie filling in an ovenproof casserole, topped with the pork chops and prepared stuffing.  The spinach feta bread made this recipe.  I'm going to have to remember to make savory breads like that just for the purpose of using as a base in the stuffing!

Pork Chops with Apples and Stuffing

  • 4 pork chops
  • tablespoon or so of vegetable oil for browning the chops
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (20-oz.) can apple pie filling
  • 3 cups dried, cubed bread (I used the spinach feta bread from Great Harvest)
  • pinch each of sage, thyme and celery salt
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion or 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth or water
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Brown pork chops in a little oil in a heavy skillet.  Season with salt and pepper.  Spread apple pie filling in the bottom of an ovenproof casserole dish which is large enough to hold the four chops in a single layer. 

Bring broth, butter, and onions to a boil in a saucepan.  Pour in seasonings and bread cubes and toss to moisten.  Put the lid on the pan and let it stand for a few minutes till bread's completely absorbed the liquid.

Put chops on top of apples and mound stuffing evenly on each chop.  Cover casserole with a lid or aluminum foil and bake at 350ºF. for 45 minutes.  If desired, remove lid for last 5 minutes of baking time to allow stuffing to dry slightly.

Note:  I'm unlikely to have a can of apple pie filling the next time I want to make this so I plan to either substitute fresh apples or canned tart cherries packed in water which I'll quickly stew with a little sugar and maybe a dash of cinnamon before spreading in the bottom of the baking dish.


darius said...

That bread sounds great! I'm glad to know there's a good bread bakery in C'ville since I go there a couple of times a year to see my doctors.

Carolyn at Walnut Spinney said...

I make it to C'ville about once a month, when my fiber arts guild meets and, at least every other month, I come home with a loaf of bread from there. Really like that many of their breads are made with fresh-ground grain. We just finished off the last of a frozen loaf of their cinnamon-raisin walnut bread for breakfast today...

Cindy said...

Enjoying the posts!

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