A few weeks ago, I spied the most gorgeous veal chops at the meat counter in my local supermarket. They were almost 2 inches thick with a faint, blush pink color. At over $20.00 a pound, veal chops are not in my standard repertoire, and understandably so. However, for some reason that day they were on sale for the bargain price of only $13.99 a pound. Still a bit steep, but I threw caution to the wind, grabbed four and never looked back. Those beauties were calling out my name!
I firmly believe that when you start out with a really excellent product, simplicity is best. Why cover it up with a lot of superfluous stuff. Would you put a trench coat on David 
? Of course not! My veal chops would not suffer that indignity either. I decided to pan-roast them with a sprinkling of salt and pepper. To take it up a notch, I also decided to make an apple and shallot compote with a Calvados 
and cream base. You can skip this, as the chops can really stand on their own. You can also substitute onion for the shallots. I just happened to have shallots. Also, the veal chops can easily be exchanged for pork chops. No need to break the bank.
I seared the chops in my trusty cast iron skillet and finished them off in the oven. While they were roasting, I prepared the compote. I microwaved some Country Crock 
mashed potatoes (Hey, they beat instant potato buds!), to which I added chopped scallions and roasted garlic, steamed some green beans and that was it. In about 40 minutes, I had a lovely meal that I would have happily ordered in any restaurant.
Pan-Roasted Veal Chops with Calvados, Apple and Cream Compote
For the Veal Chops:
4 veal chops, 1 1/2 inches thick
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
For the Compote:
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. minced shallots
2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and chopped
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup Calvados*
1 cup heavy cream
4 or 5 fresh sage leaves
a few grinds of fresh nutmeg (optional)
Prepare the Veal Chops:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Season the veal chops with salt and pepper.
In a large skillet or saute pan, heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Sear the veal chops until nicely browned, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a shallow roasting pan.
Bake for about 10 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of a chop registers 155 degrees.
Transfer the chops to a serving dish and let rest while you make the compote.
Prepare the Compote:
Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the skillet. Place the skillet over medium heat, add the shallots and saute for 2-3 minutes, until they start to soften. Add a little more butter if needed.
Add the apples, sugar and sage and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
Add the Calvados and increase the heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits and cook until reduced by 1/2.
Add the cream. Bring to a simmer and cook for a few minutes or until reduced by 1/2.
Add nutmeg, if using.
Serve, either on top of veal chops or on the side.
*Calvados is an apple brandy from the French region of Basse-Normandie or Lower Normandy. It is a French brandy similar to cognac and armagnac.