Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Spice-Rubbed Pork Cutlets with Mango Peach Salsa

Mango peach salsa is one of those garnishes that restaurants (of any caliber) love to toss on menus. It sounds lush and exotic and is visually stunning on a plate. I have to confess that I am one of those people who has turned her nose up at the idea of making it at home - it feels so trite and overdone....of course that was how I felt before, before being the operative word  here.

I was shaken out of this stubbornness because I had some overripe mangos and a few peaches and a hot pepper that was dying to be used. This salsa is usually served over fish (salmon, Chilean sea bass) and all I had was a pork cutlet, not something I cook with everyday or almost at all. Someone suggested a spice rub and I thought to myself, "spice plus fruit plus pork, that sounds like a combination I have heard before, I'll give it a try."

Spectatular. Unbelievable. I will actually buy pork cutlets on purpose now to recreate this dish.

Once again, I am humbled by my own stubbornness regarding preconceived notions when it comes to a dish or condiment or garnish. All my notions do is leave me bereft of a great food experience. Please let me continue to remember this point!

Spice Rubbed Pork Cutlets with Mango Peach Salsa

2 large pork cutlets
olive oil

Spice Mix

3 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon white peppercorns
1 small dried red pepper
2 dried bay leaves

Mango Salsa
2 large mangos (or 4 altufo aka champagne mangos) cubed
2 ripe peaches, cubed
1/4 red bell pepper, diced
1 lime, juiced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 small jalapeno, deseeded and minced
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine salsa ingredients and set aside to marry at room temperature. Grind spice mixture in electric grinder or mortar and pestle. Oil pork cutlets lightly and dredge in spice mixture. Grill or pan fry over high heat, 4-5 minutes per side until done. Serve with salsa on top.

Recipes currently inspiring me:
Watermelon Gazpacho at Soup Chick
Homemade Nutella at Family Style Food
Eggplant Rolls at Greek Food Recipes and Reflections

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