The Czech Republic, formerly Czechoslovakia, and before that the Czech Republic, holds a place near my heart. My grandfather’s family immigrated to the United States from the Czech Republic in 1902. He grew up in a Czech speaking home in Flatonia, Texas. A small town along Interstate 10 between San Antonio and Houston. The town was built by immigrants from Eastern Europe mainly the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Germany.
If you ever find yourself in this part of Texas take some time to stop and visit one of the painted churches. These churches were built in the later 1800s by the German and Czech immigrants. On the outside they look Anglican, but upon entry you are welcomed by vivid painted murals on the wall. There are 20 such churches in Texas, 15 are on the National Register of Historic Places. The one nearest Flatonia is in Praha (the Czech word for Prague).
Also, while you are there take advantage of the delicious Czech pastries, especially the kolache . A kolache is a sweet bread filled with fruit, cheese or sausage before baking. Classic Czech fillings are prune, poppy seed, cream cheese, and sausage. And stop by the Shiner Brewery for a taste of a Texas/German beer. (I grew up in a part of Texas that had a strong Eastern European and Mexican heritage, which means I grew up eating really good food and listening musical stylings that enjoy the accordion.)
One of the cool things about writing these posts is learning more about the culinary history of countries. I am far from an expert but it is fun to expand my food knowledge. The entry in Wikipedia under cuisine of the Czech Republic the first sentence is, “Czech cuisine is marked by a strong emphasis on meat dishes.” Growing up in a home with a Czech background nothing could be more true, it was a meat and potato family.
Stuffed Pork Chops in Sour Cream
- 5 tablespoons of butter
- 3/4 cup of finely chopped mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons of finely chopped shallots or onion
- 3/4 cup of soft, fresh bread crumbs
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Salt and fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 6 double loin pork chops with pockets
- I cut the pockets into the pork chops
- Chicken Stock
- 1/4 cup of Cognac
- I do not have any Cognac on hand so I used white wine, which is not the same.
- 1 cup of sour cream
- Melt two tablespoons of the butter in a skillet.
- Once melted, add the mushrooms and shallots until the liquid is evaporated. The smell is intoxicating.
- Add the bread crumbs and continue to cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Cool the mixture.
- Add the egg, salt, and pepper to taste, and the thyme.
- Stuff the pork chops with this mixture and fasten with small skewers or toothpicks.
- The picks will stick out keeping the chops from laying flat or you can trim them.
- Melt the remaining butter in a skillet and quickly cook the pork chops in it on both sides.
- When browned, season with salt and pepper and enough stock to barley cover the bottom of the skillet.
- Cover the skillet, lower the heat, and cook the chops for 45 minutes, turning once during the cooking.
- When the chops are tender, add the Cognac and ignite it.
- I added white wine and cooked it down.
- Remove the chops to a warm platter and add the sour cream to the skillet.
- Heat thoroughly, but do not boil or the cream will curdle.
- To serve, pour the sauce over the pork chops.