I love to play around with ingredients and see how many different ways I can prepare the same items. In the winter, I took peppers, onions and pork tenderloin and made a stew. Now that it’s spring, I want to grill, so I’ve turned the same ingredients into a skewer. The peppers and onions become a base of the dish after they are slowly sauteed to bring out their sweetness. The pork benefits from a flavorful wet rub made from garlic oil and paprika. The whole thing is delicious, especially if you take the extra step of garnishing with a little sour cream.
The skewers enable you to control portion size. A pound of pork yields 5 skewers. You'll need 5 medium-size metal skewers, or soak 5 bamboo skewers for 30 minutes before using.
Make Ahead: The pork needs to be marinated for 2 to 12 hours.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika, or more to taste (may substitute cayenne pepper)
- 1 pork tenderloin (1 pound), cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 medium yellow, red and/or orange bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and cut into thin slices (about 14 ounces whole peppers)
- 1 large sweet onion, such as Maui, Mayan or Vidalia, thinly sliced (8 ounces)
- 5 teaspoons low-fat sour cream (optional; do not use nonfat)
Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil, garlic, sweet paprika, smoked Spanish paprika and salt to taste in a small skillet. When the oil starts to bubble, immediately reduce the heat to medium-low. Let the mixture cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Place the pork cubes in a resealable plastic food storage bag; add the cooled paprika-garlic oil marinade. Seal and massage so the pork is thoroughly coated. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours.
Prepare the grill for direct heat. If using a gas grill, preheat to medium-high (450 degrees). If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them evenly under the cooking area. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for about 4 or 5 seconds. Lightly coat a grill rack with oil and place it on the grill.
While the grill is preheating, cook the peppers and onion: Heat a large nonstick griddle or pan over medium-high heat. Coat with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and peppers; season with salt to taste. Reduce the heat to medium; cook the vegetables for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring and adjusting the heat so they cook but don’t brown, until they have cooked through.
Thread the pork cubes evenly on 5 skewers (see headnote).
Lay aluminum foil on the grill so the parts of the skewers not covered with pork will be shielded from the heat by the foil. Place the skewers on the grill, positioning them so the meat is over the heat and the skewer is protected by the foil. Grill the skewers for 5 to 6 minutes on one side until browned. Use tongs and a spatula to turn the skewers over. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the pork is cooked through. The internal temperature of the pork should be 160 degrees. Remove from the grill and let the meat rest for 5 minutes.
To serve, divide the onion-pepper mixture evenly among individual plates. Top each portion with a skewer of pork. If using the sour cream, put it in a small resealable plastic food storage bag and seal. Snip off 1 of the bottom corners of the bag to create a way to pipe a thin line of sour cream over each skewer.
From Nourish columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
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