Sunday, August 22, 2010

Southwestern Pork Kebabs

Finally, a recipe! The FvF household has been in such a tizzy lately prepping for our upcoming marital bliss that coming up with new recipes hasn't been at the top of my priority list. But, Dot's Market has butterfly pork chops on sale for a song, so I wanted to come up with something different than souvlaki to use it for.

We're getting pretty excited about our trip to the Riviera Maya, too, and I figured I might try something with a little Mexican flare. I made a marinade of orange juice, olive oil and the typical things you'd find in taco seasoning and gave it a whirl. Here's what you'll need for that part:

1/2 C OJ
1/4 C olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Other stuff you'll need:
Cherry tomatoes

Mix all of those together in an airtight container and set aside. Trim your chops of fat and cut into 1" cubes, toss them into the marinade, replace the top and give it a good shake. Marinate for at least 4 hours or better yet, overnight.

Once they've marinated, thread them onto skewers (don't forget to soak wood skewers for at least 20 minutes), interlacing them with cherry or grape tomatoes. Give them a little squeeze of fresh lime juice and place them on a hot grill (about 400 degrees) for about 4 minutes per side, until there's just a bit of give left to the pork. Let them cool for a moment, the squeeze a bit more lime juice on them and dust with fresh chopped cilantro.

The truth is, I wanted these to be really amazing, but they were missing something. I didn't marinate overnight like I normally do, so I think that may have taken away from the flavor. This marinade also didn't have as much oil in it as most marinades I make, so the pork dried out a bit, despite not being overcooked. I think some sort of richer, maybe dairy-based sauce to drizzle over before serving would have suited them well. If anyone has any ideas, I'm all ears!

In the end, though, I'm a sucker for grilled veggies (okay, grilled anything) and a colorful plate - so it wasn't a complete disappointment.


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