Originally Published in the Greenwood Daily Journal July 28, 2011
You are really serious about grilling these days if you brave the heat, don your apron and head outside to stand over a hot grill. I know this because in the midst of a heat advisory I am grilling more than ever before!
I have a short list of things that I have never been successful at making on the grill so this summer I am trying my hand at making pizza’s with fresh dough, grilling fruit (that doesn’t stick to the grill) and even making a cake in my old cast iron skillet.
One thing I always seem to burn is kabobs. I can never seem to get it right. I think I load them with too many veggies and don’t leave a little space between each piece. I also forget to soak my skewers. I decided to educate myself a little and broaden my horizons. Last week I made chicken on rosemary skewers, that was fabulous, if you like rosemary. They weren’t very pretty so I didn’t take a picture of them but judging by how quickly they were eaten they must have been good.
I have made the obligatory burgers, hot dogs and brats when we have company over but I get a little bored with this and I like to set the bar high. I finally tried a grilled pizza it turned out great! I really love the smoky taste of the crust when I have a wood fires pizza so this is as close to that as I can get at home.
Sometimes I just get in a rut and nothing really sounds good. My family is the same way so instead of eating out on this particular night I made something a little different than I have in a while. I am not good at incorporating Asian flavors into our meals but this time I was successful and made something that we all loved! If I had known how much we would have liked it I would have doubled it. This takes just a few ingredients and can be done in about 30 minutes. Your kids will like having dinner presented to them in a little different way, if you leave the meat on the skewers. I used metal ones this time to avoid the dreaded ‘bamboo burn’ that I get when I forget to soak them before hand.
My latest ‘Cooking Bucket List’ item was quickly checked off as I deemed these pork skewers a huge success! With family-friendly flavors, your kids are sure to try a bite. Even my picky eater plowed through 2 helpings.
Making this even better was the fact that I bought almost all of the ingredients for dinner at the farmers market. The crisp, green beans and the pork tenderloin from Simpsons Farm Market in Martinsville were 2 of my great purchases that day.
I served these pork skewers on a bed of whole wheat Soba noodles that you can find at most grocery stores but you can also serve over Linguine or rice. Add a side of sauteed green beans or broccoli and this is a dinner even your pickiest eater will love. This is a fast and easy dinner that is easy on the pocketbook as well. With a few pantry items you already may have you can make this for under ten dollars.
Five-Spice Pork Skewers
2 TB ketchup
1 TB soy sauce (I used Tamari)
2 tsp packed brown sugar
1 tsp Chinese Five-Spice powder
1 1/2 lb pork tenderloin
1/4 peanuts, unsalted, chopped
1/4 C chopped cilantro
lime wedges for a little extra flavor
For sauce, combine the first 4 ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Trim the pork into strips and thread on the skewers of your choice. Brush a little of the sauce on the meat and grill until cooked, making sure not to over cook. Brush the remaining sauce on the pork and serve.
Green Beans sauteed in Soy Sauce
1 lb washed green beans with the stem end snipped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 C say sauce (low sodium, Tamari)
1 shallot, minced
drizzle of olive oil
Add all of the above to a large skillet om low/medium heat and saute until soft yet still a little crunchy.