RECIPES Spice up the grill with pork kebabs
It's not likely that summer cooks will soon tire of the fun of firing up the grill. It's not likely, either, that families will fail to identify their favorite foods to grill. However, every now and then, the cook can ring the changes -- putting together a menu that throws in a new flavor, a twist in seasonings, a different combination of ingredients.
It's easily done, using standard ingredients. Here are a couple of recipes to try, together or in other combinations. The honeyed pork and mango kebabs are a tasty blend of savory, spicy and sweet. The pork is marinated in a mixture of honey, apple juice and hot pepper sauce, then grilled with mango chunks and onions. Spinach and grapefruit salad would hold its own well as an accompaniment to many robust grilled dishes, adding a refreshing tang. The familiar spinach-bacon base gets a citrus lift from the juicy addition of grapefruit.
Honeyed pork and mango kebabs
(Preparation 30 minutes, marinating 1 hour, cooking time about 20 minutes)
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
3 tablespoons hot cayenne pepper sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large (12 ounces) ripe mango, peeled, pitted and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1/2 cup frozen baby onions, partially thawed
Combine honey, juice concentrate, hot sauce and allspice in small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring, 5 minutes. Stir in lemon peel. Remove from heat. Pour 1/4 cup marinade into small bowl; reserve. Place pork in large resealable plastic storage bag. Pour remaining marinade over pork. Seal bag; refrigerate 1 hour. Prepare grill.
To prepare dipping sauce: Place 3/4 cup mango cubes in blender or food processor. Add reserved 1/4 cup marinade. Cover; process until pureed. Transfer to serving bowl; set aside.
Alternately thread pork, remaining mango cubes and onions onto metal skewers. Place skewers on oiled grill. Grill over medium-low coals, 12 to 15 minutes or until pork is no longer pink. Serve kebabs with dipping sauce. Makes 6 servings ( 3/4 cup dipping sauce).
Note: You may substitute 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen peach cubes for fresh mango.
Spinach and grapefruit salad
(Preparation 25 minutes, cooking time 10 minutes)
10-ounce bag spinach, leaves washed, stemmed and torn
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/2 red onion, sliced into thin wedges
6 slices uncooked bacon, cut into thin strips
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons spicy mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 pink grapefruits, peeled and cut into sections
Place spinach in large salad bowl. Add mushrooms and onion; set aside. Cook bacon in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until bacon is crisp. Drain; reserve 2 tablespoons drippings in pan. Combine 1/2 cup water and cornstarch in 2-cup measuring cup until blended. Stir in vinegar, sugar, mustard and Worcestershire. Pour into skillet with bacon drippings. Bring to a boil; simmer 2 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly. Cool slightly. Top salad with bacon and grapefruit. Pour dressing over salad; toss well to coat evenly. Serve immediately. Makes 6 to 8 servings.