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Gia-Gina Across the Pond

So I've decided to follow my husband to his native Italy. Follow our adventures as we eat, drink, travel, adapt to and explore this remarkable country. Part food blog, part photo blog but mostly my rants and raves. After our two years in Italy, we relocated across the Atlantic "pond" and are back in the States.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Garam Masala Pork Chops

I am in no way an expert in Indian spices or Indian food, I do however happen to really enjoy the flavors. I found a bag of Garam Masala at my local ethnic food shop. The combination of spices reminded me of Julia Child's pork spice mixture, which I used to use quite a bit in Seattle. It contained no less than 15 different spices from crushed bay leaves, to mace, cloves, white pepper etc... I knew Garam Masala would be somewhat similar and set out to re-create those highly fragrant pork chops.

In the Garam Masala spice pack I used I notice the following spices:

green cardamom pods
black cardamom pods
cumin seeds
coriander seeds
fennel seeds
black peppercorns
fenugreek seeds

After a bit of internet research I discovered there is no set recipe for Garam Masala.

Garam Masala Pork Chops
Serves 4

4 medium to thick cut pork chops, let them get to room temp.
1/2 onion, slivered
1/2 apple, peeled, diced or sliced or 1/2 C. applesauce
2 T. raisens or prunes
apple cider vinegar
1 T. of peach preserves, apricot preserves

1. Season the room temp. pork chops with salt and sprinkle them with the Garam Masala. Just a tiny bit on both sides of each pork chop. Too much will be overwhelming and may burn.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet and add the pork chops, sear them a bit on both sides but do not burn, then lower the heat to medium low and finish the cooking. Or you can place the pork chops in a 350 degree oven to finish. Time your meat well as to insure they don't get too dry. Take them off the heat on onto a plate to rest while they are still juicy and the lightest pink near the bone.

3. Add a bit more oil to the same skillet and then saute the onions, apples and/or peaches, raisins until the onion has softened. Add a few splashes of vinegar and then the preserves/applesauce and taste for seasonings. Add salt, pepper and a pinch of garam masala. This sauce should taste like a warm chutney with a balance of sweet, sour and salty. Spoon the sauce onto the pork chops and serve.

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At 11:00 PM, Blogger cvraman said...

The best way always is to buy 2 or 3 different brands and mix them and use. By doing so u would get a mix of all things.

At 3:51 AM, Blogger Typesetter said...

I am not sure I agree. Each blend of spices has its peculiar taste. If the blend is judicious, it is balanced and pleasurable, with a predominant note and some complementary notes. Mixing several blends toghether may only produce an indistinct spicey flavor, even with clashing predominants, or with the complementary that become predominant. Poorly planned-out blends are probably best mixed toghether, so that all the spices melt into one nondesccript flavor. Good blends should really be used like they are. More is not better, often it's just more cumbersome.

At 8:27 AM, Blogger H. (aka. NC_State_Gal) said...

Mmmmm, mmmm, mmmm. Once again at 8:00 in the morning, my stomach is growling. That looks delish!

At 11:30 PM, Anonymous rowena said...

This is too weird...I LOVE indian food and when I got here I went out to buy a little spice bottle of garam masala and also a small packet of cardamom pods that I tucked into my purse. Needless to say, the next day my purse was inundated with scent of the pods as I had forgotten to take them out. Great stuff!

At 4:43 AM, Blogger midnightbunny said...

At first it looked like the meat was hugging the peas. lol

It looks delicious. You always make the most inspiring menu posts.

At 8:57 AM, Blogger A Novelist said...

That looks absolutely delicious! I too LOVE to cook - especially Italian cuisine.
I also wanted to say that I love your blog and I look forward to reading your continued writings. Take care!


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