Recipes from Leesa’s shower

I got the pork recipe through  the weekly e-letter from The Splendid Table on NPR, and the idea for the peaches came from a friend’s barbecue. The guy cooking that day made something similar and his peaches ended up tasting like lighter fluid. I thought I could do something better. Also, it’s kinda  hard to find the paprikas and affordable saffron; grocery stores with bulk spices usually have all these, and for much less than the typical spice aisle at probably a Tom Thumb or whatever. Plus, at Central Market, they had little bitty packets of saffron for a fraction of the price of the bottles of little bitty packets of saffron. I bought a bunch of those little packets for 99 cents a piece and it seemed to come out alright.

Here they are:

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 Originally made with lamb, these spicy pork morsels are served at tapas bars all over Spain.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.

For the peaches, I quartered five ripe peaches and placed them on skewers. I mixed together about 2-3 tablespoons of brown sugar with maybe a quarter tsp. cinnamon and 1/8 tsp. ground cardamom, rubbing the mixture on the peach quarters. I then brushed the peaches with clarified butter (regular melted butter or margarine would do, I’m sure). Since the gas was out on the grill, I baked the skewers until tender at 500 degrees.

I’ll post the hummus recipe in a little bit.

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