A Squared: Friday Finds: Mini Pork Brochettes

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Finds: Mini Pork Brochettes

I was feeling inspired to try something a little different this week and decided to consult The Tapas Cookbook, a LoveFood book for a dinner recipe. I love tapas and Spanish food, but normally I leave the cooking to the professionals at my favorite tapas restaurants instead. I took a baby step this week though and made these delicious pork brochettes this week.  They were easy to put together, full of flavor, and the recipe introduced me to a new-to-me ingredient. 

Have you ever heard of ras-el-hanout? It's a Moroccan spice blend and according to Wikipedia it means "head of the shop," implying that it's a blend of the best spices the shopkeeper has to offer. Ras-el-hanout is a combination of lots of spices including cardamom, cinnamon, paprika, and turmeric among others and it has a really cool exotic flavor. It's spicy and sweet and smoky all at the same time. I have seen recipes for it online, but because it calls for SO many different spices I think it's easier to buy the blend. It can be tough to find-- I couldn't find it at my regular grocery store so I sent Alex on a fun field trip to the Spice House to pick up a little package of it for me.

 In keeping with our tapas theme, I also made some patatas bravas- inspired roasted potatoes to go along with it. I'll be sharing that recipe with you next week!

  • 1 lb. lean boneless pork
  • 3 Tbs. Spanish olive oil, plus extra for oiling *I just used a high quality EVOO
  • zest and juice of 1 large lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 Tbs. fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped (plus extra for garnish)
  • 1 Tbs. ras-el-hanout spice blend
  • salt and pepper
The brochettes are marinated overnight, so remember to do this in advance so that they are ready when you need them. Cut the pork into pieces about 3/4-inch square and put pieces in a large dish shallow nonmetallic that will hold them in a single layer.

To prepare the marinade, place all remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix them together. Pour the marinade mixture over the pork and toss the meat until well coated. Cover the dish and marinate in the refrigerator overnight (or for at least 8 hours). Stir 2-3 times during that time.

You can use wooden or metal skewers to cook the brochettes and for this recipe you will need about twelve (12) 6-inch skewers. If you are using wooden ones, soak them in cold water for 30 minutes prior to using. Metal skewers simply need to be greased. *Since we ate these as a main course and didn't serve as cute little small plates, I used three (3) 12-inch metal skewers.

Preheat broiler or grill pan. Thread 3 marinated pork pieces, leaving a little space between each piece, on to each prepared skewer. Cook the brochettes for 10-15 minutes or until tender and lightly charred, turning several times during cooking. Serve the brochettes hot, garnished with parsley. *We cooked ours outside on the gas grill and followed the same cook time suggestions.

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