Friday, June 18, 2010
Rosemary-- the herb for remembrance. What better way to celebrate Fathers' Day. It's going to be a hot sizzling weekend, so why not grill up some Rosemary Pork Spiedini just for Dad.
Rosemary, an herb originating in the Mediterranean, is highly aromatic and adds a rich resinous flavor to grilled and roasted meats and vegetables. Along the Italian coastline rosemary grows everywhere and sizeable--so large, that women still drape their freshly washed sheets over the large bushes to dry. Still known as ‘dew of the sea’ it is said to be endowed with many virtues. Long ago rosemary and juniper berries were burned to purify the air, and sometimes used as a tea to allay headaches or smoked in the hopes of curing asthma, and an herb that strengthens memory. Rosemary.. for remembrance.
This is a very simple dish to prepare, with amazing flavors from the rosemary, fennel, bay leaves and sage. Chunks of fennel flavored Italian sausage and pork combined with bay leaves, red peppers and onions grilled on fresh rosemary skewers for these delicious kebobs. Just use fresh rosemary stems as skewers, stripping off most of the leaves. Be sure to save the leaves as you'll be making an herbal rub with them.
Rosemary Pork Spiedini
12 oz pork tenderloin or boneless pork chops, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 TBLS herbal rub-- recipe below
1 lb fennel Italian sausage
2 red peppers
1 large red onion
20 fresh bay leaves
10 fresh rosemary branches
olive oil for basting
Toss pork cubes in a little of the herbal rub, about 3/4 teaspoon, mixed well and set aside.
Slice Italian sausage into 1 inch pieces and cut the red peppers into similar-sized pieces. Cut the red onion in half lengthwise, then cut each half into 6-8 segments and separate the layers. You should have enough for 3 on each skewer.
Strip rosemary skewers of all but the top few leaves and make a point at the opposite end with a sharp knife.
Thread on pork, onion, sausage, red peppers and bay leaves. Repeat in this order, twice for each skewer.
Sprinkle skewers all over with the rest of the herbal rub, and brush with extra virgin olive oil and grill over a medium heat for approximately 8 minutes each side, until pork and sausage meat are fully cooked. Serve with a large antipasto and very chilled vino and enjoy! Happy Fathers' day to all the special Dads out there.
Combine 1 TBLS sea salt, 4 TBLS rosemary leaves, chopped very fine, 1/4 tsp ground chili pepper flakes, 3 bay leaves, crushed or chopped fine, 6 sage leaves. Now combine these ingredients in a spice mill, mortar and pestle or chop very finely This tastes really great and may be used on any grilled or roasted meats and vegetables to enhance the flavor. This will make approximately 3-4 TBLS.
For dessert, Dad will just love this one. Actually, everyone will love it! I made this dish from The Italian Dish last week and followed the recipe to a tee--only substituting marscapone for half the cream cheese and nectarines and cherries in addition to the star of this dish--strawberries.. Simply scrumptious!