Before we get to cooking, I wanted to share a funny story with you. A few years back, I worked for a solar company. It was part of my job to screen prospective customers – solar power isn’t for every home owner. The tax benefits, rebates and savings are directly tied in to electrical usage in the home. Some of our prospective customers lived in areas where both their electric power and natural gas providers were one and the same, so it was necessary to determine how much of their utility bill was for gas, and how much was for electricity. Sometimes, the person I was speaking with did not know how much was gas and how much was electricity, so together we would try to figure that out.
Me: Is your home predominately gas or electric?
Customer: I’m not sure. How can you tell?
Me: Generally, if your major appliances are gas, the majority of your bill is for gas.
Customer: What are considered major appliances?
Me: Stove, water heater, dryer – those types of things.
Customer: Well, I know my stove is electric because when the power goes out, I have to light it with a match.
I kid you not!
This dish is so delicious, you’ll want to serve it to company. These skewers make a great mid-week barbecue with a few friends or for a lazy weekend supper. But don’t just reserve this yummy skewered supper for guests – it’s an awesome summer evening meal for the family.
I like the fact that, with the exception of pre-boiling the potatoes, the entire supper is cooked outdoors. Now that the warm weather is upon us, outdoor cooking is a great way to go. The pork and potatoes are prepped in the morning, then finished on the grill that night.
Maybe it’s because the daylight hours are longer this time of the year, but I don’t mind if supper is served a little later in the evening. There’s something wonderful about dining outside, just as the sun is setting, that makes everything seem to taste better. Couple this with a nice bottle of wine and it seems the stress of the day simply melts away.
Skewered Italian Grilled Pork with Potato Vesuvio
Pork and Potatoes:
1 ½-2 lbs small red potatoes (about 1 ½-inch in diameter) scrubbed
1 ½ lbs Center-Cut Pork Tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
6 lemon wedges
½ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
Ingredients – Garnish
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
Salt & pepper to taste
½ cup chopped Italian parsley
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
Morning of: Scrub potatoes. Place potatoes in a saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to simmer and cook for about 12 minutes or until almost tender when pierced with a fork.
While potatoes cook, prepare the pork and make the marinade. Cut pork into 1-inch cubes. Set aside until ready to use.
Peel and mince garlic, set aside until ready to use.
Place pork in a large resealable plastic food storage bag. Combine wine, oil and the garlic in a small bowl; pour over pork. Close the bag to hold in the marinade, and set aside.
Immediately rinse potatoes with cold water to stop cooking process, drain and add to pork in bag.
Seal bag tightly, turning to coat. Marinate in refrigerator at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours, turning occasionally.
Evening of: Prepare barbecue grill for direct cooking. While the coals are heating, soak the skewers in water.
Drain pork mixture, discard marinade. Alternately thread about 3 pork cubes and 2 potatoes onto each of 6 skewers. Place 1 lemon wedge on end of each skewer. Season pork and potatoes to taste with salt and pepper.
Place skewers on grid. Grill skewers, on covered grill, over medium coals 14-16 minutes or until pork is juicy and no longer pink in center and potatoes are tender; turning halfway through grilling time.
While skewers are grilling, chop garlic, parsley and lemon peel. Combine in a small bowl and set aside.
Remove skewers from grill. Transfer to serving platter. Sprinkle parsley mixture over skewers.
To serve, squeeze lemon wedge over pork and potatoes, plate skewers and enjoy. Serve with grilled asparagus for a wonderful supper without heating up the kitchen.