Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tasty Spikes

My husband says, "if you put anything on a stick, it will be good."  While he was in Korea in the Army, they had Chicken on a Stick, so he's always trying to get me to find recipes for skewered meat.  But this time he found a great one.  I'm not sure where he saw it, but he texted me one day last week and all it said was, "Puerto Rican Pinchos."  So I had to do the research.  Pinchos means "spikes" or "thorns," but what it really means is skewered food.  This is a very popular street food in Puerto Rico and is made with either pork or chicken. Since pork is my favorite, I went with pork.

Now, we've done Pork Kabobs which were pretty spectacular and, of course, the Chicken on a Stick.  But I have to tell you, these Pinchos were amazing!  The marinade gave the meat great flavor.  It calls for adobo seasoning, which I've never used before now.  The meat was tender and juicy.  The little bits up fat crisped up and were slightly crunchy.  The 7-Up barbecue sauce was phenomenal (you read that right.  7-Up BBQ sauce is apparently quite popular in Latin America). The meat took on a bit of the flavor of the onions and bell peppers.  It was outstanding!  Here's a picture my husband took of them on the grill (he's so cute!):

I didn't know that BBQ sauce was popular in Puerto Rico. Learn something new every day.  If you are a grilling fan, a pork fan, a BBQ fan, a 7-Up fan, you are going to love this!

One 2 lb pork butt or shoulder
1 T garlic powder
1 T black pepper
1 T adobo seasoning
1 T onion powder
1 T cumin
1 packet Sazon
1/2 C vegetable oil
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 onion
Metal skewers

1 C 7-Up
2 C ketchup
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 chipotles in adobo, chopped
3/4 C brown sugar
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 T smoked paprika
2 T molasses
2 T Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 C apple cider vinegar

NOTE:  I found both the Sazon packets and the adobo seasoning at Walmart.  The Sazon is on the International foods and I found the adobo seasoning, oddly enough, to the left of the pickle section where there were a lot of Goya products.

Mix together the garlic powder, pepper, adobo seasoning, onion powder, cumin, Sazon, and oil with a whisk.  Cut the pork into thin strips about 2 inches long.  Put the pork and the marinade into a large zipper bag and marinate at least two hours.  Cut the bell peppers and onion into about 1-inch pieces.  Set the veggies aside.

For the sauce, put all of the sauce ingredients into a pot. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat slightly.  Continue cooking, whisking occasionally, until the sauce has thickened up, about 15-20 minutes.  Keep the sauce warm.

Preheat the grill to high, somewhere between 400 and 450 degrees.  Weave the pork pieces onto the skewers with a red bell pepper slice, an onion slice, and a green bell pepper slice in between each piece of pork.  Put half of the sauce into a bowl to baste the meat with.  Reserve the other half of the sauce for serving.  Baste the skewers with the sauce. Grill the skewers for five minutes.  Turn them over and baste them again.  Grill for another five minutes.  Turn them one last time and baste again.  Grill until the pork is nice and caramelized and the meat is done.  Serve the skewers with the reserved sauce.

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