I am sooo obsessed with CHEESE, especially MANCHEGO! I eat it allll the time. I’ve researched it (it’s from La Mancha in Spain; it’s a sheep’s milk cheese; available fresh/aged 3-6 months/or aged for 1 year). I know that Whole Foods’ manchego tastes the best , Trader Joe’s manchego is super cheap, and Safeway’s manchego is ridiculously expensive. I’ve been lookin for a recipe that uses manchego, but there aren’t many out there. Hence, I was delighted when my little sister forwarded me this recipe from elly says opa. The sauce is unique – nutty, fresh, and with a smooth roasted pepper flavor…the manchego is subtle, but with a creamy, slightly salty meltiness. Yummmy. I made it with a toasted corn salad and sauteed spinach. However, the corn cakes on elly says opa look absolutely scrumptious (and easy!). I’d serve this with a tempranillo wine, which goes well with the manchego’s salty, chewy farmhouse flavors…and gives a little zip to the sauce.
What you need:
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 pork chops (I used bone-out because I am lazy)
- Sliced manchego cheese
- 2 Tbsp. pepitas (these are seeds! you can get them at Trader Joe’s!)
- 1/2 cup sliced roasted red peppers (these are only $1.99 at Trader Joe’s!)
- 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350.
Using a paring or utility knife, slice pockets into your pork chops, or nearly butterfly them.
Stuff the chops with thin slices of manchego (about 1/2 oz. for each chop). Season the pork chops with kosher salt and fresh pepper.
Heat a large, heavy bottomed skillet or saute pan over medium heat and then add 2 tsp. of the oil. Once hot, add the pork chops and brown on each side, about 1-2 minutes (don’t cook them through). Move the pan to the oven and allow the pork chops to finish cooking (8-15 minutes, depending on thickness and whether chops are boned).
Meanwhile, make the roasted red pepper sauce. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the pepitas. Do not be alarmed by the cute popping sound that they’ll make.
Toss a couple of times and let them heat until fragrant and they start to turn golden brown. Combine the pepitas, roasted red peppers, vinegar, remaining 1 tsp. olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste in a mini food processor and process until smooth. Serve the red pepper sauce over the pork chops.