Pork Spedini with Mushrooms & Bruschetta
Throughout Italy you will find kebabs called spedini: skewers of various meats often combined with bread cubes. In this recipe, you cook the meat separately and pile it on thick slices of toast brushed with a garlic-mushroom and olive oil mixture (that’s the bruschetta). Brine the lean cubes of pork loin first for juicy pork with great flavor.
From EatingWell: July/August 2011
Yield: 6 servings
Active Time: 1 1/4 hours
Total Time: 3 3/4 hours (including 2 hours brining time)
Brine & Pork
- 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 20 fresh sage leaves, divided
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup room-temperature water
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 cups ice cubes
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
Basting Oil, Kebabs & Bruschetta
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 16 cremini or white mushroom caps (2-inch diameter)
- 1 medium red onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
- Pinch of salt, plus 1/4 teaspoon, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 3 slices crusty whole-wheat bread, cut in half
- To brine pork: Place porcini, garlic, pepper and 8 sage leaves in a small bowl. Add boiling water and soak for 45 minutes.
- Strain through a fine-mesh or paper-towel-lined sieve into a medium bowl. (Reserve the solids in a small microwave-safe bowl.) Add room-temperature water, kosher salt and brown sugar to the strained liquid; stir until the sugar is dissolved, then stir in ice cubes. Add pork; cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- To prepare basting oil & kebabs: Preheat a gas grill to medium or prepare a medium-heat fire in a charcoal grill.
- Add oil to the reserved porcini. Microwave on High for 1 minute.
- Remove the pork from the brine; pat dry (discard the brine). Divide among three 12-inch flat metal skewers, alternating with the remaining sage. Alternate mushroom caps with onion on three other skewers. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the porcini, garlic and sage to another small bowl; season with a pinch of salt and set aside. Brush all the kebabs generously with the flavored oil. Sprinkle the mushroom kebabs with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.
- Grill the kebabs, turning once or twice and lightly basting with the oil, until the pork is firm and the vegetables are soft and beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. (If flare-ups occur as you baste, use a squirt bottle to put them out or move the kebabs away until the flame dies down.) Remove to a clean large plate and cover loosely with foil.
- To prepare Bruschetta: Brush one side of bread slices with flavored oil. Grill until golden brown, about 1 minute per side.
- To serve, divide the Bruschetta among 6 plates. Top with pork and vegetables; scatter the reserved porcini, garlic and sage on top.
- Make Ahead Tip: Equipment: 6 (12-inch) flat metal skewers
Nutrition Per serving:
370 calories; 25 g fat (4 g sat, 17 g mono); 64 mg cholesterol; 12 g carbohydrates; 1 g added sugars; 24 g protein; 2 g fiber; 445 mg sodium; 514 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Zinc (16% daily value)
1 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 3 fat