From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...How can you not love a country where the wine flows like a river at flood stage and you get to eat 5 times a day? Over the course of the next few days, it will become obvious that Spain, despite its flaws, has charmed me, and I've left a small piece of myself tucked in corners of its cities as I traveled across long stretches of the country. Food brings you here, so I promise I won't stray too far from our shared interest and I'll attempt to stay on point as I work through the foods and recipes I've brought back with me from Spain. A quick look at daily meal patterns is probably the best way to understand Spanish food preferences and how the country eats, so let's jump right in and get to it. The day in Spain begins with desayuno which is the first meal of the day. It consists of coffee and toast or a biscuit and it is usually eaten at home. Around 11 o'clock, the country breaks for the real breakfast, almorzando, which is served in coffee bars and restaurants throughout the country. It is a more substantial version of the early morning repast and might include pastry or a slice of tortilla, as well as juice and coffee. La comida is the main meal in the Spanish diet, similar to dinner in other countries, and takes place around two in the afternoon. It usually consists of several courses that include salad or soup, a main course and dessert. Still hungry? Merienda is basically an afternoon snack that consists of a sandwich or yogurt and some type of sweet bread or pastry. The final meal in the Spanish day is la cena, or dinner. Dinner in Spain is lighter than la comida but can also consist of multiple courses and it has contributed to the growth of the tapas culture in Spain. Traditionally, the meal takes places around ten in the evening and tapas bars hum at this time of night. For the record, a tapa is a small dish of something edible. While it can be as simple as a small plate of olives, tapas have an extraordinary range of complexity and expense. With the help of some friends in-country, I have been able to find some truly wonderful tapas offerings and will be sharing them with you for the remainder of this week. I wanted to start with one of my favorites. I know you will love these pork skewers. Here is how they are made.
Pinchos Morunos - Spicy Pork Skewers...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1-1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut in 1-inch cubes
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground hot paprika
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup olive oil + olive oil for griddle pan
12 bamboo skewers
1) Combine garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika, parsley, oregano and olive oil in a large bowl. Add pork cubes and toss to coat all surfaces with mixture. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 to 24 hours. Cover bamboo skewers with water and soak for 3 to 24 hours.
2) Remove pork from marinade and lightly season with salt and pepper. Thread pork onto skewers and set aside.
3) Coat a grill pan with olive oil. Heat pan on a surface burner until hot. Working in two batches, cook skewers until pork is brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Serve skewers while pork is still warm. Yield: 12 skewers.
Graphic inset courtesy of partaste.com
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