The photo in the cookbook of Thick chops stuffed with brie looked good enough to eat. I thought this would be the perfect meal to share with friends who were coming by on a weeknight with their 2-month-old baby (or 8-week-old baby in parent-speak). What I didn’t anticipate was working late and getting home approximately seven minutes before our guests arrived.
Thanks to a quick call (or more like a desperate plea) to my husband, he was able to get a start on dinner while I was on my way home. Unfortunately the chops I had purchased weren’t as thick as the ones pictured. According to my husband, slicing them to make a pocket for the brie proved to be a bit of a challenge. Four different knives and a few choice words muttered under his breath later, my husband had the chops sliced and ready for the cheese. I don’t know if it was as difficult as he said; I’ve learned that, like most of us, as his hunger increases his patience decreases. I wonder if perhaps a good butcher would do the slicing for me next time.
When I arrived home, the disc of cheese (we chose Camembert instead of brie) had been sliced into four wedges which was too thick to insert into the awkwardly hacked chops. I halved each wedge and, voila, we were able to make them fit. Again, had I purchased thicker chops, I don’t think there would have been a problem. I sliced the apples—one red and one green—and then got to work on making the roasted tomatoes that were pictured in the cookbook photo.
Next time I will cook them in the oven rather than in the toaster oven because the oil ended up sputtering and splattering all over the place. The end result, other than a messy toaster oven, was a melt-in-your-mouth side dish that requires little supervision, allowing you to focus on other aspects of the meal (or on gushing over a cute new baby in your living room). To make the roasted tomatoes, all you need to do is drizzle the tomatoes, still on the vine, with a bit of olive oil then roast on a foil-lined baking sheet in a preheated 400F (200C) oven until tender (about 15 minutes).
There wasn’t a lot of sauce in the pan because a) we hadn’t added more oil and b) I had used twice as many apples as called for which undoubtedly soaked up what little oil was left.
Our meal was not quite as picture perfect as in the cookbook, but it was pretty close. The chops were definitely tasty. Another winner—even our toddler was asking “More. Meat. Please.”