LUC Y SCHAEFFER
Aaron McCargo, Jr.
Aaron McCargo, Jr., competed on and
won The Next Food Network Star in
2008, beating out thousands of
culinary hopefuls for the ultimate
dream job—his own Food Network
show. On Big Daddy’s House, McCargo
shares his passion for big, bold ;avors
and fun, family cooking. Born and
raised in Camden, New Jersey, he
regularly speaks to youths at schools
and community events, illustrating that
they too can succeed despite the odds.
Stuffed Pork Chops with Bacon
Recipes developed by Aaron McCargo, Jr.
1 cup orange marmalade
¼ cup chopped scallions,
white and green parts
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup spicy chile oil
9 ounces fresh baby spinach
6 slices hickory bacon, cooked and
coarsely chopped (about ½ cup)
6 ounces smoked Gouda cheese,
cut into small cubes
1 tablespoon chopped chipotle
chile peppers in adobo sauce
1 5-pound rack of pork ( 8 ribs)
Kosher salt and freshly ground
2 tablespoons canola oil
In a small bowl, stir together the marmalade, scallions, soy sauce and chile oil.
Set half the marmalade sauce aside for cooking and the other half for serving.
Prepare a hot ;re in a charcoal or gas grill and oil the grill grates.
Steam the spinach in a steaming basket until wilted (or wilt it in a microwave
oven). Transfer the spinach to a large bowl and add the bacon, cheese and
chipotle chiles. Mix well.
Prepare the rack of pork by slicing it into 4 equal 2-bone chops. With a small,
sharp knife, slit the side of each chop to create a pocket that goes nearly but not
all the way through the chop. Wiggle the knife to open the pocket. Stu; each
chop with the spinach ;lling. Secure the openings with toothpicks; season the
chops with salt and pepper. Brush both sides of the chops with the canola oil.
Grill the chops 15 minutes with the grill covered, turning 3 times.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Transfer the chops from the grill to a foil-lined shallow
pan and loosely tent the chops with another piece of foil over the top.
Place the chops in the preheated oven and cook approximately 35 minutes
or until the juices run clear and the internal temperature reaches 145°F. During
the last 5 minutes of cooking, remove the foil and brush the chops with the
marmalade sauce for cooking.
Remove the chops from the oven and let rest for 3 minutes before serving
with the reserved sauce. Makes 4 servings.
Recipe adapted from Simply Done, Well Done, by Aaron McCargo, Jr.
( John Wiley & Sons, 2011).
Easy Sautéed Pork and Pasta Dish
2 cups canola oil
2 pounds boneless pork loin or
pork tenderloin (see note)
2 tablespoons seasoned salt
(such as McCargo’s Seasoning Salt)
½ cup all-purpose ;our
2 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed,
blanched for a minute in boiling
water, and cut into 1-inch pieces
In a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat, preheat half the oil.
Season the pork slices with 1 tablespoon of the seasoned salt. On a large plate,
mix together the ;our with 1 tablespoon of the seasoned salt. Coat the pork
slices with the seasoned ;our.
Start to cook the coated pork slices in the oil without overcrowding for 2-3 minutes
per side. Place the cooked pork on a rack-lined baking sheet. Cook the remaining
pork slices, adding more of the oil to the pan as needed.
Pour the oil out of the pan and add the asparagus, crab and bacon. Cook, stirring
with a rubber spatula if possible and being careful not to break up crabmeat, for
2-3 minutes. Add the cream and lemon juice and stir gently. Heat for 4-6 minutes,
turn o; the heat, and stir in the butter until melted. Stir in parsley.
Portion out the pasta between 4 plates, then top each with the pork and sauce.
Makes 4 servings.
Note: If you’re using pork loin, cut into 12 slices and pound each slice. If you’re
using pork tenderloin, cut it into 24 slices and pound each slice.
1 pound crabmeat, picked clean
of any shells
½ cup chopped crispy bacon
3 cups heavy cream
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons cold butter
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 pound angel hair pasta, cooked
according to package directions
Chef’s Choice 109