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June 2005 Issue
12 Best Foods
by Ronda L. Halpin
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Pork Chops with Sweet Potato Gravy

These overstuffed chops will have friends and family talking for weeks. The idea came from watching a cooking show on television. That recipe, however, was seriously loaded with butter and cream, while I use just enough to make velvety potatoes and moist chops. I also replaced a long list of Cajun spices with Thai chili paste, making this a down-home dish with melting-pot flavors.
  • 3 medium Beauregard, Garnet, or Jewel yams (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon Thai red chili paste
  • 3 tablespoons half-and-half
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 4 (1 1/2"-thick) boneless center cut pork chops (5-6 ounces each)
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Roast the sweet potatoes. Peel and mash them. There should be 3 cups. Reduce the oven to 350°F.

  2. For the gravy, in a bowl combine 2 1/3 cups of the sweet potatoes with the butter, chili paste, and half-and-half. Season it to taste with salt and pepper. Spread the creamy potatoes to cover the bottom of an 8" square baking dish. Set aside.

  3. For the stuffing, in a second bowl, combine the remaining sweet potato with the onion, apple, and breadcrumbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  4. Make a 3 1/2" x 2 1/2" pocket in each chop. Pack the stuffing generously into the pockets. Combine the paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and onion powder in a small bowl. Rub 1 side of each chop with this mixture and set them seasoned side down on top of the sweet potatoes in the baking dish. Rub the remaining seasoning on top of each chop. Cover the pan with foil.

  5. Bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake the chops 10 minutes longer, until they are nicely browned on top. Serve immediately.
  • Makes 4 servings
  • Per serving: 474 calories, 12 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 32 g protein, 60 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber
 
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