Sticking with trying to cook without recipes -- or with minimal recipe usage -- I made pork kebabs the other night. I knew they should have pork and veggies, easy enough, but I did need a recipe for a marinade. I'm not that good yet! Although I think if I continue to make things without recipes and use the suggestions left in my comments -- like fusing flavors I know -- I'll get better at this.
For now, I used a marinade I found through a Google search, which called for yogurt, cumin, coriander, garlic, and lemon. The flavor combination sounded just right to me.
Yogurt Marinade (from About.com)
2 cups plain yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
In a bowl combine the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, cumin and coriander. Mix well. Add pork, cover and refrigerate for about 6 hours.
I took pork loin cutlets, cubed them, and stirred them into the marinade. I really wanted to use country-style (boneless) pork ribs because they would have been a better shape to cube, but Whole Foods never seems to have them.
Because the pork should marinate for about 6 hours, I did this part around noon and didn't think about it again until my rumbling stomach reminded me that dinner time was approaching.
Then I took out my marinated pork, chopped up some veggies, and started skewering. I decided to use orange, yellow, and green peppers; small white onions; and zucchini. I cut the peppers into squares, left the onions whole but peeled them, and thickly sliced the zucchini.
I thought it best to cook these using my boyfriend's grill pan, which fits across two burners. I have a panini grill that would also have worked, but I would have had to cook the kebabs in batches instead of all at the same time.
I heated the pan and brushed it with some olive oil, and then laid all of my kebabs on it. The first side heated quite quickly -- I think I preheated the pan for a little too long, as it took longer to skewer all the pork and veggies than I had anticipated. I lowered the heat and turned the kebabs in an attempt to evenly heat them.
I got a little nervous that the insides of the pork cubes might not have been fully cooked. Using an indoor grill pan isn't quite as reliable as an outdoor grill, so I transferred the kebabs to a cookie sheet lined with foil and popped them into the 350-degree oven for a few minutes just to be sure.
While the pork was cooking, I threw some rice in the rice cooker. I love having a rice cooker. Add rice and water and walk away.
I cut into one pork cube to check for doneness and took the kebabs out of the oven. The rice was ready as well, and it was time for dinner!
We liked the flavoring of these, but the yogurt was a little thick -- even though I had wiped a lot of it off on the bowl as I made the kebabs. The lemon gave the pork a refreshing zing. The crunchy, warm veggies were best eaten, in my opinion, with a bite of pork so they could benefit from the tang of the marinade as well.
Next time I think I'm going to try a teriyaki glaze and maybe marinate the veggies as well.
Stop back Friday to see what we had for dessert!
Labels: Main Courses - meats