1 lb. boneless pork chops
2 tsp. garam masala, divided (I used McCormick)
1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1 tsp. pepper, divided
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup mango jam (I used Hawaiian Plantations)
2 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar
You'll Also Need:
a large skillet, a small pot for the sauce
The AHH Factor: When I first made Pork Chops with Raspberry Sauce from AllRecipes.com, I loved how it was easy yet company-worthy. I made a few tweaks to the recipe, like pouring some of the raspberry sauce on top to hint at what makes these chops so unique, but other than that, I made the dish mostly as written.
Then I started thinking about how guests sometimes expect me to make Indian food for dinner, but I don't have a dish that looks really pretty or plates up well. (Curry, while tasty, doesn't lend itself to pretty presentation.) So I made some more significant adjustments to the recipe to give it Indian flavor -- but keep the fancy company aspect. (It's great for date night too!)
Garam masala is a ready-made spice blend that contains a mix of sweet and savory Indian spices (like cumin and cinnamon). Of course, you can create your own spice blend too, but I received the McCormick's blend as a gift from my friend Rhonda at Shine Beauty Beacon, and I love how fragrant it is.
The reason I don't cook the sauce in the chops' skillet is two-fold: Mainly it's because the mango sauce works great poured on sweet things too (try it on Greek yogurt), so I don't want to get savory pork chop fat into the sauce. Secondly, the recipe cooks up faster this way as you can cook the chops and the sauce up at the same time and you don't have to turn on the oven to keep the chops warm. This recipe can seriously be made in about 15 minutes. (Just get thin cut pork chops so they cook up quickly.)
I originally tried my version of this recipe with Trader Joe's Mango Butter, but it didn't work out. I just couldn't get the Mango Butter to really blend into the vinegar or become the right consistency. I eventually found Mango Jam at Surfas in Culver City. You could also add juice to the sauce, like the orange juice the original recipe calls for or I'm thinking something more exotic and tropical would be even better, but we didn't have any juice on hand so I just left it simple.
If you lost your motivation to have friends over after the hectic holidays, this recipe will renew your confidence in your extraordinary hostess abilities -- and with time to spare to enjoy your friends' company!