Since my living situation will soon be requiring most meals for two, I thought it was fitting to write about one of my favorite foods to prepare when dining solo — a veal rib chop. Of course, a quality chop may be hard to find in some areas and might be at the high end of your budget. You can always substitute a thick pork chop if that better suits your needs. And if there’s more than one dinner guest, this is easy to multiply either with veal or pork chops.
Although delicious simply grilled with some fresh rosemary or sage, stuffing it is more fun. Veal chops tends to be prepared Italian style with fontina cheese and proscuitto. For something a little different (as usual), I tried this version that uses some ingredients on hand from my veggie share. The greens added a healthy touch and color that you don’t find in most filling ingredients. The pancetta (or you can use bacon) imparts a smokiness while the parm gives it saltiness. Because I love cheese and veal doesn’t have the biggest pocket, I couldn’t resist adding some blue cheese to melt on top as it rests. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do.
Grilled Veal Chop Stuffed with Greens and Topped with Blue Cheese
1 veal rib chop (1/2 to 3/4 lb)
1 tbsp diced shallots
1 tbsp diced jalapeno, optional
2 oz of pancetta
1/2 bunch of any combo of kale, arugula, collards or spinach
1/4 cup of parm
1/2 tbsp of lemon oil
A few sage leaves
A few chunks of blue cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Let veal chop come to room temperature. Cut a pocket.
In the meantime, prep and blanch kale and collard greens for 2 minutes if using. Drain and chop. (If using spinach or arugula, there’s no need to blanch, just rinse and chop. For my stuffing , I used a combo of kale and arugula.)
Saute pancetta for 2 minutes, add in shallots and jalapeno if using. Saute for another 2 minutes, add greens and saute for another 2 minutes or until wilted. Remove from heat and let cool. Add in parm and toss to combine.
Preheat grill or grill pan to high. Stuff greens into the pocket and close. (Use a toothpick if you need to, and reserve any extra greens to eat on the side or save for another use.)
Cook for 5 minutes on medium high. Lower the temp to medium and flip. Cook for 7 minutes. Add blue cheese to top, turn off the grill and let rest covered for 5 minutes until cheese melts.The cheese lets you avoid the hassle of doing a pan sauce. But if you prefer, you can top it with a sauce of white wine, lemon, mushrooms and cream or brown butter and sage. It all depends on how much time you have and what you feel like eating.
Since this takes around 20 minutes total, it’s not too much time to devote to making yourself a good meal. And you can spend the grilling time catching up with a friend, reading a book, writing in a journal or whatever you like to do.