For a special occasion dinner, planning is a great way to eliminate last-minute stress. You can prepare these stuffed pork chops the day before and bake them as your guests enjoy their appetizers.
The varied flavors of this pork chop recipe complement each other very well. One way to make your dishes appealing to your diners is to incorporate different textures in our recipes. This one certainly has a variety of contrasts. From the crunch of the panko coating, straight through to the ooey-gooey melted Gouda center, this is a very “company worthy” dish.

GOUDA AND SPINACH STUFFED PORK CHOPS

• 4 (1.5-inch thick) boneless pork chops
• 4 slices Gouda cheese
• 8 tablespoons chopped baby spinach
• Horseradish mustard (I used French’s brand)
• 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
• 1 tablespoon Creole/Cajun seasoning or seasoned salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with a thin layer of olive oil.
Lay each chop flat on a cutting board and using a sharp knife, carefully cut a deep slit or pocket, leaving the backside intact.
Spread as much of the horseradish mustard as you’d like inside the pocket of each chop.
Lay each slice of cheese out flat and divide the chopped spinach onto each slice. Roll the cheese around the spinach and place inside the chops.
Pour the panko crumbs into a shallow plate and coat each chop with a thin layer of horseradish mustard, then completely cover with the crumbs, pressing down firmly. Place each chop on the baking sheet and sprinkle each with the Creole/Cajun seasoning or seasoned salt.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. If the panko begins to brown too much, lower the temperature, but the cooking time may need to be increased. The thickness of the pork chops you’re using will help determine how long they need to bake.

HASSELBACK POTATOES

Instead of a dull, boring baked potato as the side dish, Hasselback Potatoes will bring a touch of elegance to the plate. Not only are these potatoes delicious, but they’re also fun to make. They were first introduced in the 1700s by a restaurant located in Stockholm named Hasselbacken. They cook up nice and crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. If you prepare these to serve alongside the pork chops, put the potatoes in the oven first to allow everything to be ready to serve at the same time.
• Yukon Gold potatoes (However many you want to cook based on how many you’ll be feeding. Trust me on this one: Cook extra.)
• Butter
• Olive oil
• Salt
• Pepper
• Garlic powder
• Parmesan cheese
• Smoked paprika
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Scrub the potatoes. Place two wooden spoons on a cutting surface. Place one potato at a time between the spoons. Make slits/cuts cut in the potato almost all the way through. The handles of the spoons will assure that each slice is the same depth. Repeat with remaining potatoes.
Brush olive oil and butter over the potatoes. Sprinkle garlic powder, salt and pepper over each potato.
Arrange the potatoes on the baking sheet and place in the oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the potatoes turn crispy and the inside is soft. Baste the potatoes with olive oil halfway through the bake time to make them extra crispy.
Remove from oven and gently spread the slices apart a little bit. Add a little more butter if you like and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and smoked paprika.
Laura Tolbert, also known as Fleur de Lolly, has been sharing recipes, table decor ideas and advice for fellow foodies and novices on her blog, fleurdelolly.blogspot.com for more than eight years.You can contact her at facebook.com/fleurde.lolly.5, on Instagram, and fleurdelolly@yahoo.com.