Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pork Kaboom And Veggie Kabob.

Here's the money shot
to get your attention.
Recently, my friend Marion
sent me a link to The Splendid Table website.
I've since joined so I can get their newsletters,
which I highly recommend for you foodies out there.
Tonight we're having Pork Kabobs in the style of the Moors.
Here's the recipe
from The Splendid Table:

June 17, 2009

Dear Friends,

This is like coming home to Spain — pure Spanish tapas bar food. If there is one dish I have to eat seconds of at a tapas bar, this pork — marinated in olive oil, sweet and hot paprikas, cumin, saffron and garlic — is it.

Although this dish requires thinking ahead by 24 hours because you need to marinate the meat, the payback is tenfold. Make extra marinade and freeze it for use later on fish, chicken, lamb, sliced eggplant and even onions for grilling. It is that good.

Joyce Goldstein, cookbook author and San Francisco chef, staked out her claim to the Mediterranean palate maybe two decades ago with some of the best tasting, most sure-footed recipes in the business. I think this will be a keeper.

Pork Kebabs in the Style of the Moors

Reprinted with permission from Tapas: Sensational Small Plates from Spain by Joyce Goldstein (Chronicle Books, 2009). © 2009 by Joyce Goldstein.

Serves 8

Here is an example of Christian Spain adapting the flavors of Moorish Spain to their favorite meat. Originally made with lamb, these spicy pork morsels are served at tapas bars all over Spain.

To dress up this classic in summertime, brush peach halves with some of the marinade and grill them along with the kebabs. I like to use pork tenderloins for this recipe because they are a good size and are tender.

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds, toasted in a dry pan until fragrant, finely ground
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed and steeped in 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Lemon wedges for serving

1. In a small saucepan, combine the oil, cumin, sweet and hot paprika, saffron infusion, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, and the pepper and warm over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes to release the aromas of the seasonings. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

2. Place the pork in a bowl and rub with the oil mixture, coating evenly. Add the garlic, parsley, and lemon juice and toss well. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature before cooking.

3. Soak bamboo skewers in water to cover for 30 minutes. Prepare a fire in a charcoal or gas grill, or preheat the broiler.

4. Drain the skewers. Remove the pork from the marinade, thread onto the skewers, and sprinkle with salt. Place on the grill rack, or arrange on a broiler pan and slip under the broiler. Grill or broil, turning once, until just cooked through, about 4 minutes on each side.

5. Serve the skewers with lemon wedges.

Here are my ingredients for the marinade.
(With some changes.
I didn't have sweet paprika,
so I subbed brown sugar.)
Top row, from left to right:
2 TB cumin seeds
1 TB oregano
1 TB hot paprika
1 TB brown sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
(I used Bertolli Extra Light.)
Middle row:
3 TB fresh parsley
1 tsp saffron threads
1/4 cup lemon juice
Bottom row:
2 TB garlic
1/2 tsp each freshly ground salt and pepper
First, I toasted my cumin seeds
for a few minutes.
When toasting spices,
always keep them moving
and watch closely so they don't burn.
You can go from nicely toasted to a bitter burnt seed
very quickly.
My house smells really good now.
Next, I ground the cumin seeds
in my Magic Bullet,
which is one handy little gadget.
Here are my saffron threads
steeping in 2 teaspoons hot water.
My ingredients are ready to heat up in
a sauce pan.
Clockwise, from top left:
1/2 cup olive oil
1 TB brown sugar
1 TB oregano
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
1 tsp saffron threads, steeped in hot water
2 TB toasted ground cumin seeds
1 TB hot paprika
I combined the above ingredients in my sauce pan,
heated for a few minutes to let all the flavors meld together,
then set aside to cool.
Here's the other half of the pork loin
leftover from Mr. Hawthorne's
I trimmed the excess fat off ...
... then sliced ...
... then cubed evenly into 1 inch pieces.
When the marinade had cooled,
I poured it over the pork cubes ...
... and added the garlic ...
... the parsley ...
... and the lemon juice.
I have to say,
this is smelling pretty good.
I squeezed the air out of my bag
and massaged the meat every once in a while.
And I let it marinate overnight.
Fast forward to next day.
The pork is ready for ka-bobbing
and I have my peppers and an onion ready too.
After soaking the skewers in water for 30 minutes,
I skewered the pork cubes.
And here are my veggie kabobs.
I drizzled some olive oil over the vegetables.
And the kabobs are ready for grilling.
Oh wait.
I remembered I had some fresh pineapple in the fridge,
so I skewered that too.
And I poured the pineapple juice over top.
Here's my grillscape:
solar lantern and bird feeder
with molded seed in the bottom.
Sensai Sandra has taught her little grasshopper well.
Don't you like the umbrella?
Ta daaaaaa!
I loved all the flavors in this dish.
Daughter Hawthorne
"liked the spicy herbiness of the meat and the
freshness and sweetness and juiciness and crispiness
of the vegetables.
You taste the vegetables first
then the grill flavor is in the background.
Usually the grill flavor overpowers the vegetables.
And I was surprised at the sweetness."
Thank you, Daughter Hawthorne.
Mr. Hawthorne said,
"I think I would've added a clove of garlic in there.
Otherwise, perfect."
Ummmm, Mr. Hawthorne,
it had about 4 cloves in there.
Then Mr. Kill Joy/Party Pooper switched around saying,
"A good piece of meat does not need a marinade."
Now which is it, Mr. Hawthorne?
Well, yes, but sometimes I want the
extra flavors of the marinade.
They can enhance a meat.
That's like saying salad greens
freshly picked from my garden
can't benefit from a light dressing and some croutons.
Sometimes you can be a bit of an
anal-retentive purist,
Mr. Hawthorne.


Debbie said...

I love the splendid table. I download their podcasts to listen on my Mp3 player. (if only i could figure it out )
I also love ka-bobs. these look terrific.

Kathy said...

Ahhh, I can almost feel the Spanish breezes wafting through the olive grove.