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Author Notes: I make these pork chops when my herb garden is overflowing in the summer. I love to experiment with different herb combinations - they're all good. (A word of warning though - if you use lovage - be sparing. A few leaves impart a lot of flavor.) The pepperoni is amazing at binding them together and keeping the chops moist. Instead of pepperoni you could also use chorizo, or another type of spicy sausage. The simple spice mix can be your own secret ingredient - unless you choose to share the recipe. These stuffed chops are easy to make ahead and then throw on the grill when guests arrive - and they look like you really fussed (even though they come together in minutes) - perfect for summer gatherings. —Kitchen Frau
For the chops:
- 4 thick-cut pork loin chops (about 1 1/2" thick)
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh herbs, at least 2 or 3 kinds (mix of chives, parsley, thyme, tarragon, basil, sage, dill, etc.)
- 2 ounces extra lean turkey pepperoni (2 6-in. pieces) or other spicy sausage
- 1 large clove garlic
"Super-Secret Spice Mix":
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
- With a sharp knife cut a pocket into each pork chop, leaving about a finger-wide frame uncut on three sides.
- In a food processor whiz together the herbs, sausage and garlic clove to make a rough and slightly chunky paste. (The sausage really helps to bind it.)
- With your fingers, stuff about 1/4 of the stuffing into the open side of each pork chop pocket.
- Mix the ingredients for the Super-Secret Spice Mix (It's idiot-proof - just stir together in a small bowl - how easy is that?)
- Rub the spice mix on each side of the pork chops and save the rest of the spice mix to use for other things. At this point the pork chops can be refrigerated for several hours. Bring them to room temperature for 1/2 hour before grilling.
- Grill the pork chops until perfectly done.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Barbecue