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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Grilled Pork Kabobs and Red Potatoes with a Spicy Tomato Aioli

An afternoon of Spanish tapas and sangria is a favorite way to waste away a day. What seems hard about making tapas at home is the variety you would typically order at the restaurant. That, and the fact the you don't have someone waiting on you refilling an empty glass!

If you think about narrowing down the at-home-tapas night to just two or three dishes at a time, you'll find it more manageable. Once you have those dishes under your belt, you can add more dishes each time you do tapas.

Today I made Grilled Spicy Pork Kabobs, which in the tapas world can also be know as Brochetas de Cerdo (essentially pig on a stick) or Pinchos Morunos (mini meat appetizers served in tapas bar that are heavily spiced). Served with simple Grilled Potatoes and a Spicy Tomato Sauce (which is also known as an Aioli even though this is not technically correct) it's a fun tapas-esque meal.

Cooked on the grill, the pork will achieve a nice crusty spice layer while the insides will remain juicy. With the Spicy Tomato Sauce and marinated pork, the potatoes can be kept pretty simple with just olive oil, salt and pepper.

Mix up a pitcher of sangria (red sangria or white sangria will do), invite the friends over and settle in for for a Fat and Happy Spanish afternoon

Tips and techniques:  If are using wooden skewers on the grill, soak them in water first to prevent them from burning 

Marinated Pork Kabobs

1 lb pork, cubed shoulder or butt
1/3 cup olive oil
2-3 sprigs of oregano and thyme
3 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
2 whole cloves
1 Tbls paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper
salt or seasoning (add just before grilling, not to the marinade)

Cut the pork into cubes roughly 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" and place in a ziplock or shallow marinating dish. Add the remaining ingredients and toss well.  Allow the pork to marinate for 24 hours.

Skewer the pork, liberally salt the meat then grill over medium hot coals to preferred doneness. Allow the kabobs to rest before serving with the Spicy Tomato Dipping Sauce and Grilled Potatoes.

Grilled Potatoes

Potatoes (my preference for this is to use red potatoes)
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Cut the potatoes in cubes roughly 2"x2"; toss with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Skewer and place on the grill, turning as each side crisps and browns. Test the inside of a potato using a sharp knife to ensure it is cooked completely through before removing from the grill. Serve with the Spicy Tomato Aioli.

Spicy Tomato Dipping Sauce (Tomato Aioli)

2 small tomatoes
2 large garlic cloves
1 small onion, quartered
1/3 cup mayo
1 chipotle in adobo sauce
1 tsp smoky paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin

Gill the tomatoes, garlic cloves and onion until charred all around.  For ease, skewer the onion and garlic so nothing slips through the grills; leave the outer shell on the garlic during grilling. Peel the garlic, then place all ingredients into a blender. Blend on high for one minute or until smooth.

Pour the tomato sauce into a small sauce pan, simmer for 5 minutes then hold on low heat until ready serve.

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