dinner · entree · keto · pork

Cuban Stuffed Pork Chops

Oklahoma City is lucky to have the choice of restaurants and cuisines that we have. A lot of people (food magazines, television shows) overlook our food mecca. You’ll see nonstop chatter about Austin and Seattle, but nill when it comes to OKC.

We’ve got a very large Korean and Vietnamese population here, and some outstanding restaurants to go along with it. I’ve eaten the best Thai food of my life in OKC. There’s a heavenly assortment of Mexican and TexMex delights. Reputable barbecue lurks on the outskirts of town. The best steaks you’ll ever eat are seared to perfection just south of Downtown.

So, how come no one gives us a second look? Why do we not have Zagat rated restaurants? I think there’s still a stigma that surrounds the city—that of a little dusty town in the middle of a state nobody cares about. That couldn’t be further from the truth, but it’s hard convincing outsiders.

Whatever your heart desires, OKC has got it. Bolivian, Colombian, Peruvian food. Pupusas and tortas and pho are easy to find.

However, there is one niche cuisine OKC lacks, though: Cuban food.

Everyone knows Miami is the American heart of Cuban cuisine. Once you move outside of the city, it becomes increasingly harder to find. I’ve never actually had homemade Cuban food, but I’ve heard and read enough about it that my mouth salivates when I see pictures of Cuban sandwiches.

What could be better than this: pork, ham, cheese, mustard and pickles all stuffed inside of crust bread? That just sounds right up my alley. I’m a key supporter of mustard on sandwiches, and the duo of pork just makes the sandwich that much better. You’ve got the salty, you’ve got the tang, and you’ve got what appears to be the best sandwich this side of the Gulf of Mexico.

I set out to work on my keto-version of the Cuban specialty. No bread here, rather a a stuffing inside of some marinated pork chops. The marinade is simple: lime, oranges, cilantro and oil. Set those pork chops in the fridge for at least 8 hours and you’ve got a flavorful bite of pork.

You can usually find butterflied pork chops at the grocery store, but in case you can’t, grab the thickest cut (boneless, too) that you can find. That way you can butterfly them yourself, or at least cut little pockets inside to stuff the pork with ham and cheese.

As for the mustard, I went with a garlicky mustard from Trader Joe’s. You can use plain yellow mustard, stone ground, spicy brown or dijon—whatever you want. The higher quality the better.

The end result: a delicious foray into Cuban food. It may not be truly authentic, but it’s truly wonderful to me.

Enjoy!

Cuban Stuffed Pork Chops

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

Marinated pork chops stuffed with ham, cheese, pickles and mustard.

Ingredients

  • 4 butterflied, boneless pork chops
  • 1 lime (zest & juice)
  • 1 orange (zest & juice)
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 3/4 cup olive oil + 2 TBS. olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 large sliced pickles
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese
  • 8 slices thinly sliced deli ham
  • 1/4 cup mustard

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, stir together lime zest & juice, orange zest and juice, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and 3/4 cup oil. Pour over pork chops and place pork & marinade in a ziploc bag or resealable container. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove pork from marinade and spread mustard on the inside. Add two slices ham, one slice cheese, and one pickle to each chop. Fold over (using toothpicks if you want).
  3. Heat remaining oil in a large cast iron skillet or ovenproof skillet over medium high heat. Sear pork chops for 2-3 minutes per side until browned. Transfer skillet to oven and bake for 25-35 minutes.

Step-By-Step Instructions

In a large bowl, stir together lime zest & juice, orange zest and juice, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and 3/4 cup oil. Pour over pork chops and place pork & marinade in a ziploc bag or resealable container. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove pork from marinade and spread mustard on the inside.

Add two slices ham, one slice cheese, and one pickle to each chop.

Fold over (using toothpicks if you want).

Heat remaining oil in a large cast iron skillet or ovenproof skillet over medium high heat.

Sear pork chops for 2-3 minutes per side until browned. Transfer skillet to oven and bake for 25-35 minutes.

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Cuban Stuffed Pork Chops

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s