Sometimes I get on a kick – spending several nights “dining” in the same country before moving on to another part of the world. Lately, I seem to be fixating on Mexico. It began with the notion of Taco Tuesday a while back. But let’s face it, Tacos are such a small part of the culinary delights of a country that is as diverse as Mexico. It would be like saying America is all about hamburgers and hot dogs. I’ve expanded the Taco Tuesday thing to be Mexican Tuesday.
I love Baja Coastal cuisine. Have you ever had flap meat that has been rubbed in spices, stuffed with crab and smothered in a spicy cream sauce? Yum! There are an endless selection of Enchiladas, tostadas, moles, spicy shrimp, and sword fish. There are coastal area, mountain villages, arid deserts, cattle grasslands all contributing to the mosaic of Mexico’s cuisine. This is a colorful country with a bounty of specialty dishes. Scallops en Creme, Carne Asada, Beef Empanadas and Chuletas de Cerdo con relleno Picante just to name a few.
This incredible supper is a prime example of Mexico’s range beyond the simple taco. While these delicious pork chops takes a bit more time than my usual weekday suppers offerings, it is so worth the extra time. Be warned – it’s a bit spicy, but oh so good! Just make sure you have a pitcher of Margaritas and the meal is complete.
Mexican Pork Chops with Ancho Chile Cornbread Stuffing
1 Dried Ancho Chile (see note)
Chicken Stock as needed
2 Tablespoons Butter
½ Cup Onion, chopped
3/4 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
3 Cups Cornbread Stuffing Mix
4 Bone-in Pork Chops, about ½-inch thick
1/2 Teaspoon Mexican Chili Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Chipotle Seasoning
1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Powder (less, if desired)
½ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Note: If you can’t find the Ancho Chili, use 2 teaspoons Ancho Chili powder and a pinch of red pepper flakes instead.
Heat oven to 350-degrees. Spray 12×8 inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
Remove stem and most of the seeds from chili. Place chili in a small bowl, add just enough boiling water to cover chili. Let stand 10 minutes or until chili is softened. Remove chili from water, reserve water. Finely chop chili.
Dump cornbread stuffing into a large bowl, then toss in the ancho chili and set aside.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and red bell pepper, cook and stir 2 minutes. Add to the stuffing mix.
To reserved chili water add enough chicken stock to make 1 cup of liquid. Add liquid to stuffing mixture; mix well. Spoon into prepared baking dish and set aside.
Sprinkle both sides of pork chops with chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. To now empty skillet, add pork chops and cook over medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes or until browned on both sides, turning once. Arrange chops over stuffing. Cover with foil.
Bake in oven 35-40 minutes or until pork is tender and no longer pink in center.