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Cheesy Vegetable-Stuffed Pork Chops

6 Pork rib chops, 1 1/4" to 1 1/2" thick -- - (abt 4 lbs total)
2 tablespoons Margarine or butter
1 medium Celery stalk -- chopped - (1/2 cup)
1 medium Onion -- chopped - (1/2 cup)
1 small Carrot -- shredded - (1/2 cup)
1 small Green bell pepper -- chopped - (1/2 cup)
1 cup Shredded sharp Cheddar cheese - (4 oz)
1 1/2 teaspoons Chopped fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 tspn dried thyme leaves)
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Freshly-ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Freshly-ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Make a pocket in each pork chop by cutting into pork toward the bone.

Melt the margarine in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Cook celery, onion, carrot, and bell pepper in margarine about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender; remove from heat. Stir cheese, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper into vegetable mixture. Fill pockets in pork with the vegetable mixture.

Heat oil in same skillet over medium heat. Cook pork in oil about 5 minutes, turning once, until light brown. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place in ungreased rectangular baking dish, 13 by 9 by 2 inches. Cover tightly and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake about 30 minutes longer or until pork is slightly pink in the center.

This recipe yields 6 servings.

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