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Pork chops have a pocketful of fruit Dried cranberries, pineapple lace meat with exotic tang


Stuffed pork chops are common fare, but a contemporary fruity stuffing can lend an exotic element with minimal effort.

The stars of our stuffing here are air-dried cranberries which can be found now in the produce sections of most large supermarkets.

In the entree recipe, the stuffing not only serves as the starch for the meal, but also keeps the meat moist. Since the meat has pockets sliced into it, you actually have two thin slices of pork that cook very quickly. Be sure not to overcook because the meat will quickly become tough and dry. The simple glaze of jalapeno jelly lends lots of flavor to the pork and is also good for basting other items such as poultry and fish.

Before you start the pork, begin simmering the tender young carrots-- which come packaged prepared for immediate use. Cook the carrots on the stove in a small amount of water with a tablespoon of butter added for flavor. They will take 15-20 minutes, depending on their size.

The salad can be prepared first by thinly slicing the onion and peeling,

seeding and slicing the avocado into half-inch strips. Toss with a light coating of your selected dressing to marinate while you cook the rest of the meal.

Ice cream or frozen yogurt fits the bill for dessert.

Items you should have as staples are: olive oil, fresh bread, scallions, purple onion, salad dressing, ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Your 10-item-or-less shopping list:

4 (8 ounces each) double-thick pocketed pork chops

1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple

1/3 cup air-dried cranberries or cherries, found in produce or specialty section

jalapeno jelly

1 bag fresh baby (ready-to-eat) carrots

1 avocado

Fruity stuffed pork chops

Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup fresh bread cubes (2-3 slices bread of choice)

1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained and juice reserved

2 scallions, finely sliced

1/3 cup air-dried cranberries or cherries, microwaved 1 minute in reserved pineapple juice

4 double-thick, pocketed pork chops, about 8 ounces each

1/2 cup jalapeno jelly, mild or hot, melted

Heat broiler.

Place olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add bread cubes, pineapple, scallions and plumped cranberries and saute 2-3 minutes until lightly browned.

If pocket is shallow, cut to the bone to make a deep pocket. Salt and pepper pork chops outside and inside pockets. Place an abundant equal portion of stuffing in each chop. Place on broiler pan and glaze the top side with the melted jalapeno jelly. Broil one inch from the heat element for three minutes. Turn stuff pork chops and glaze. Broil two more minutes. Check the thickest part for doneness. Serve immediately.

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