Spinach-Stuffed Pork Loin Chops

Serves 4.

Note: From “Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul in the Kitchen.”

• 2 tbsp. peanut oil, divided

• 8 oz. baby spinach (about 9 c.)

• 1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg

• 3 tsp. chopped garlic, divided

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 1 1/2 c. grated Gruyère cheese (about 5 oz.)

• 4 thick boneless pork loin chops (1 3/4 lb. total, about 1-in. thick)

• 1 tbsp. unsalted butter

• 1/2 c sliced green onions

• 1 large ripe tomato (12 oz.) cut into 3/4-in. dice (about 2 c.)

• 1/4 c. chicken stock or broth

• 1/4 c. dry white wine

• 1/4 c. diced kalamata olives

• 3 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro


For the stuffing: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over high heat. Add spinach, nutmeg, 2 teaspoons garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and cook for about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool. Mix grated cheese into cooled spinach.

For the chops: Place chops on a work surface and, using a sharp paring knife, split them horizontally in half three-quarters of the way through. Stuff with spinach mixture and press edges together. (The chops can be stuffed ahead, covered and refrigerated until cooking time.)

At cooking time, preheat oven to 140 degrees.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil and butter in 12-inch skillet. Sprinkle chops with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, add to the pan, and sauté over high heat for about 3 1/2 minutes. Turn them over, cover and cook for 3 1/2 minutes on the other side. Transfer to a plate and keep warm in the oven.

Add the green onions and remaining 1 teaspoon garlic to the drippings in the skillet and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in tomato, chicken stock and white wine, bring to a boil and boil over high heat for about 2 minutes. Add remaining salt and pepper, stir in olives and mix well.

Arrange a stuffed pork chop on each of 4 plates. Coat with the sauce and top with cilantro.


Eggs in Pepper Boats

Serves 4.

Note: From “Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul in the Kitchen.”

• 2 banana peppers (long and green), or cubanelle or poblano varieties (about 4 oz. each)

• 1 tbsp. olive oil

• 4 tbsp. water

• 1/2 tsp. salt, divided

• 6 tbsp. grated Cheddar cheese

• 4 extra-large eggs

• 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

• About 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro leaves


Split the peppers lengthwise in half and remove the seeds and the stems if you want. Arrange them cut side down in a large skillet and add the oil, water and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, covered, over medium heat, turning occasionally, for about 4 minutes, or until the peppers are softened somewhat but still firm.

Remove skillet from the heat and turn the peppers over so they are hollow side up. Place cheese in the peppers. Break an egg into each one and sprinkle the eggs with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and the pepper.

Return the skillet to the stove, cover and cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Transfer to plates, sprinkle with cilantro and serve immediately.