Monday, August 15, 2011

moroccan pork skewers + grilled eggplant and leeks

By Julie

Phew. I hate and love being busy. I can't even remember what happened the last couple weeks. It's a big blur of "oh crap it's 11:30pm, I only completed 2 out of 9 to-dos, and I NEED 8 HOURS OF SLEEP TO FUNCTION". But I haven't been eating frozen meals or anything. In fact, I have quite the queue of recipes to post. I can't give up eating at least a couple fun new meals each week, even if I feel pressed for time. And besides, I pretty much only buy what's on sale, and since that changes from week to week, it's just begging for me to try out different stuff.

I found this easy recipe in my favorite little tapas cookbook. I got it years ago on clearance at Marshalls. I was skeptical, but for $2 or whatever, who cares. But it's great! Everything I've made from it has been super good. Plus, they have recipes for all sorts of meat parts. Oh, that reminds me! I got a 1960s cookbook at a used bookstore. It was published by the magazine Sunset and its theme is recipes of the world. But the reason I bought it? Because it's from the 1960s and the ingredients reflect that. Pretty excited to make something from it.

About to this tapas recipe. The pork gets marinated overnight in a lemony spiced Moroccan marinade. You don't have to make skewers, a pork chop or other cut would benefit just as much from the marinade. The recipe calls for ras el hanout spice mix. I promise I didn't post this recipe because of this, but you can get some of that spice mix from my online store - and you should! There are also tons of versions online that you can look up and make your own. The grilled veggies are lovely. Eggplant is one of my favorite veggies and leeks on the grill, much like scallions, are really good. That is to say, grilled leeks are really good if they're small or baby leeks. I didn't have much of a choice at my grocery store - they had probably the fattest leeks I'd ever seen! Consequently, mine were a little on the chewy side.

For the vegetables, you could also chop the eggplants and leeks up and use a grill basket to cook them. Then top them with the herbs and oil. Might not be as visually pretty, but that doesn't really matter necessarily.

moroccan pork skewers

1 pound of lean, boneless pork (I used pork sirloin cutlets, boneless loin chops are another option), cut into 3/4 inch pieces
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large lemon, juiced and peel zested
2 garlic cloves, crushed or pressed
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon ras el hanout spice mix
salt and pepper

1. Mix the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add the pork chunks and marinate overnight, or for about 8 hours. Stir the pork around a few times.

2. Preheat your grill to high heat. Thread the pork on greased metal skewers (or wooden ones that have been soaked in water for about 20-30 minutes) and cook about 10 minutes, turning a few times and basting with the remaining marinade.

grilled eggplant and leeks

1 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise into 1/2 inch pieces
3 baby leeks, halved or quartered lengthwise, depending on thickness, rinsed well
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
2 tablespoons chives, finely chopped
4 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon thyme
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
fresh lemon juice

Mix oil, vinegar, garlic, herbs, and mustard in a small dish. Brush over eggplant and leeks. Place on grill and grill until there are nice char marks and the eggplant is cooked and soft all the way through. Remove and squeeze lemon juice all over. Top with more parsley.

Enjoy this summery dinner! Hopefully I'll get my to-dos in order and be able to post more regularly.

This was originally posted at my blog, the crankin' kitchen!

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