A few weeks later, I was still thinking about that meal and wondered, "Was it really that good or was I just starved for a decent meal?" When I saw her at church today I asked her to send me the recipe. She obliged. I made it. And it was still really good. Way good.
And yes, we serve very American sized portions around here.
4 apples (I used Gala), peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 ounces golden raisins (eye ball it - sidenote: I don't typically love cooked raisins and if you're the same, give this a shot anyway. The cook so long and tender that they almost become part of the sauce and give it a perfect sweetness.)
1 inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and whole
3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
2 cups apple juice or apple cider, plus a splash more for deglazing pan
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 (1 inch thick) center cut boneless pork loin chops, 6 - 8 ounces each
2 Tablespoons butter
Combine first eight ingredients in a medium saute pan over medium high heat and cook until a chunky sauce forms, 10 - 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. If sauce begins to spatter as it bubbles, reduce heat back a little but it should be allowed to reduce and form quickly. Once apples are soft and the sauce forms, remove from the heat.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil to the pan. Season pork chops on one side with salt and pepper. Using a pair of tongs, add chops to the hot skillet seasoned side down. Season the opposite side of the chops with salt and pepper. Brown and caramelize the chops 2 minutes on each side, then reduce heat to medium and cook another 5 - 6 minutes, turning occasionally, until juices run clear (sidenote: my chops were quite thick so I actually butterflied them after getting a nice crust on both sides first). Remove chops from heat and let them rest a couple of minutes to let the juices redistribute. Deglaze the pan with a splash of apple juice and 2 Tablespoons of butter. Let cook down a little and pour pan sauce over the chops. Remove ginger from the sauce and top the chops with a generous portion of the warmed apple sauce.
P.S. I served this with broccoli which I broiled in the oven at 400 degrees coated in a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper until tender. Then I grated on some Gruyere cheese and let broil just a minute more until melted.