From Early Autumn, Ch. 9.

Thanks to Jacob Sconyers for supplying the following recipe.

Just in case you're interested, I have made Spenser's pineapple-cream pork chops several times. They taste great. The first time, I just followed along with the steps he performed in the novel. All quantities and times are approximate; I cook by feel.


  • 1 cutting board
  • 1 meat tenderizer (or meat mallet, as I like to say)
  • 1 large frying pan
  • assorted utensils

Ingredients (for pork chops and sauce):Edit

  • 2-4 pork chops (the medallions he describes are the way pork chops are almost always packaged now. If there's no bone and no large amount of gristle, you've got it.)
  • 1 large can pineapple chunks (packed in heavy syrup)
  • 1 small can mandarin orange sections
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4-1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (sweet)
  • salt and pepper

For rice follow book exactly-- it's a no-brainer, except you can substitute slivered almonds for pignolia nuts if you can't find them. Also, you can simmer the rice or use a rice cooker. (See my file on preparing rice - Bob)

To make the main dish:Edit

Lay out all ingredients. Go ahead and open your fruit cans, you'll want to be able to get into them later. Make sure you have separate plates and utensils for raw and cooked pork.

Pound the pork chops until they are half their original thickness... this takes a while. A pinch of salt and pepper will work, this is strictly according to your own taste.

Put olive oil in pan. Heat over a high flame, but not quite full blast. If making rice on stovetop, start it now.

Cook pork chops until golden-brown on both sides.

Add whole clove of garlic-- don't press it.

When garlic softens (about 5 min.), add the juice from the can of pineapple. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium.

In 5-10 minutes, remove cover and check pork. If it is white all the way through, remove it from the pan. If not, continue cooking covered until it is. (cooking covered allows the pork to get cooked, while absorbing all that pineapple steam so it stays moist and flavorful)

After removing pork, return to fairly high heat. Juice should boil vigorously.

Allow juice to reduce. It should decrease in volume by a third to a half. While juice is boiling, use a fork to crush the garlic clove in the pan and add a generous handful of pineapple chunks.

When juice has reduced the proper amount, SLOOOOOWLY add cream, stirring constantly.

Add a small handful of mandarin chunks. Allow cream to reduce slightly (about 2 min.) while stirring to avoid scorching your sauce. Remove from heat.

Now, with any luck your rice should be just getting done. Put a big dollop of rice on your plate, throw a couple of pork chops beside them, and drizzle your tasty sauce over all of it. The result should be a sweet, fruity, creamy, garlicky concoction that tastes amazing.