[custom_headline type=”center” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true”]The Story[/custom_headline]
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his is the time of year that images of sandy beaches and turquoise oceans dance in my head. The chill of winter is gone and spring fever is upon us once more. With the spring comes warmer temperatures (or with the hope of warmer temperatures) and a new season of lush and exciting produce. Grills begin to get dusted off after a long winter and cuisine blooms into festive tastes and colors.
[custom_headline type=”center” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true”]The Inspiration[/custom_headline]
Nothing feels more like spring break than a cocktail in one hand and a grilled skewer of deliciousness in the other. These flavorful Marinated Pork and Mango Skewers are a cinch to prepare and they look like spring break on a plate.
For these skewers I typically use pork loin cut into 1 inch or 1 1/2 inch cubes. Marinating or brining leaner cuts of pork, like the pork loin, will give you much better texture and flavor. The leaner cuts of pork typically have less fat for infusing flavor and keeping the meat moist during cooking.
Like always, purchasing the highest quality pork will consistently result in a delicious dish. I feel fortunate to live in a region where I can find locally raised, free-range pork. The hogs are fed a non-GMO high quality feed as well as allowed to forage on the pasture, roll in the lowland mud and be happy little pigs. It might sound silly, but a happily raised animal makes for flavorful food. So if I can get all “Portlandia” here, try to find locally raised pork or at least pork that has been humanely or naturally raised.
[custom_headline type=”center” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true”]The Takeaway[/custom_headline]
If there is one pairing I adore most it’s pork and tropical fruit. Pineapple, mango, papaya, bananas, plantains… and the list goes on. I’ve even paired pork with star fruit and kiwi. However, I’ve found the best tropical fruits for grilling are definitely mango and pineapple.
For these skewers I used mostly mango, but added some pineapple for the pineapple lover in my family. Red onion, colorful peppers and even mushrooms also compliment the marinated pork and tropical fruit.
- For the Skewers
- 1 - 1½ lbs pork loin or pork tenderloin, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 - 2 cups fresh mango, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 cup fresh pineapple, cut into 1 inch cubes (optional)
- 2 cups assorted vegetables, cut into 1 inch pieces or cubes (red onion, red, green or yellow peppers)
- Sliced fresh green onion for garnish
- 8-10 wood or steel skewers (if using wood, soak in water for at least 15 minutes prior to using)
- For the marinade
- 1 cup Tamari
- ½ cup pineapple juice
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh green onion
- For the Coconut Rice
- (recipe can be doubled)
- ¾ cup basmati rice
- 1 cup coconut milk
- ½ cup water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Whisk together the marinade ingredients.Toss the cubed pork with the marinade and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least six hours or overnight.
- To prepare the coconut rice, heat the coconut milk and water in a medium sauce pan. When it begins to boil, add the rice and stir. Turn the heat down to low, cover with a lid and let it cook for about 15-18 minutes or until the rice is done. Fluff with a fork and reserve.
- When you are ready to grill, pre-heat the grill to 400F.
- Drain the liquid from the pork and then skewer the pork, vegetables and fruit, alternating until you've filled the skewer. Leave a little space between all the ingredients so that the skewers will cook evenly. Brush each filled skewer with a little olive oil to keep the ingredients from sticking to the grill.
- Grill on direct heat for about 10-15 minutes, rotating for even cooking. The pork should reach 145F internal temperature when it's done.
- Place the coconut rice on a platter and top with the Pork and Mango Skewers. Garnish with fresh, sliced green onions and serve.