Monday, August 5, 2013

Cinnamon-Spiced Pork Skewers

Camping was a success! There were a few minor hiccups before we got on the road – one of my passengers was late due to a messy dog and then my car battery needed a jump because we waited with the radio on for too long – but everyone made it to the campsite by 8PM on Friday.  With 14 of us at the campsite, we quickly got the tents up, built a fire, and had the grill going for dinner (more on that later).  After dinner, we sat around the campfire, ate s’mores and Firecracker Cookies, and played drinking games.  Thanks to one of the newbies, we learned a new drinking game called Drink While You Think.  Try it – it’s loads of fun! As soon as we put everything away on Friday night and got into our tents, it started to rain.  The timing couldn't have been more perfect.

When we woke up on Saturday morning, the rain had cleared.  It turned into a beautiful day which we spent floating down the river, sometimes in rafts and sometimes just swimming.  We spent Saturday evening in a similar fashion as we did on Friday, and enjoyed a traditional campsite dinner of hot dogs and hamburgers.  We let the morning dew dry and used up the rest of our firewood before packing up camp and returning to civilization (a.k.a. Dunkin' Donuts) on Sunday.  As much as I love camping and spending the weekend outside, I was glad to be at home and in a bed on Sunday night!

Back to Friday’s dinner! After prepping the skewers on Friday morning, I had my first experience cooking on a grill that night! We couldn't find the tongs at first, so I had a little trouble rotating the first batch of skewers, but things got much easier once the tongs were located! It was a gas grill, so the meat didn't finish with a smokey, charcoal taste to it, but I did blacken the skewers more than I do on the grill pan at home... because I'm usually worried about the apartment's smoke detectors going off! Watch the pork carefully because it can get tough and chewy if cooked for too long.  All of the skewers were devoured meaning they were a hit! The Chipotle Chicken Kabobs were slightly more popular than the pork, but I really enjoyed the flavor combination of cinnamon and cayenne pepper.  It reminded me a bit of the Moroccan Chicken Thighs I made at the beach this year.  Real Simple also noted that the spice mixture works equally as well on beef or chicken, so maybe I'll try with poultry next time!

Cinnamon-Spiced Pork Skewers
Adapted from Real Simple
Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 2-4


6-8 skewers
1 lb. boneless 1-in. thick pork chops, cut into 1/4-in. cubes
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cooking spray


1.  Soak 6-8 wooden skewers in water for 15-20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, toss together pork, olive oil, coriander, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper.  Let marinate for 5-10 minutes.  Thread pork onto skewers.

3. Heat grill or grillpan to medium-high.  Just before grilling, spray with cooking spray.  Grill skewers 5-7 minutes, turning occasionally until pork is cooked through.

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