Balsamic Pork & Pineapple Skewers

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Pork Pineapple Skewers

Wow, is it the January the 4th already? I'm barely getting used to writing 2015 and it's hard to believe that 2014, that year that flew by so quickly has become 2015. And you know what that means? It means that it is time for a new year and a new In My Kitchen hosted by Celia from Figjamandlimecordial where we show what is new in our kitchens.

Last year we were fortunate enough to be able to go to Europe on a Mediterranean cruise with Azamara Journey (I can't wait to share these stories with you!). And after that trip, we returned home with suitcases bulging full of gifts for friends and items for our kitchen.

Pork Pineapple Skewers

This blackberry jam crostata was bought on our final day in Rome. We carried it in Mr NQN's backpack as a plane snack. Fortunately we were well fed on the flight and there was no need to reach into the bag for this snack and surprisingly it made it home to Sydney in one piece. Every time I look at this picture, I just want to make a crostata, with ruffled edges of course...

Pork Pineapple Skewers

These cookies were a gift for my mother, a cookie addict. They were from a bakery in the Roman Jewish area and are all pareve (made without dairy or meat products). They had the most fabulous crispy texture and made me want to investigate making cookie recipes without dairy!

Pork Pineapple Skewers

We went to Monaco, that fairytale kingdom. Mr NQN and I had different responses to Monaco. I thought that it was very pretty and liked the small size which made it easy to cover in the short time we had there. He thought that it was artificial. Oh well, we both liked these chocolates and nougat though!

Pork Pineapple Skewers

This organic chocolate is from Sicily and is cold processed. Each blend is for a specific purpose: one for Sex, Health and Optimism. These were bought as gifts for others and I'm told that the chocolate is very dark and quite grainy!

Pork Pineapple Skewers

These purchases were from Nice where the food is distinctly Ni├žoise and Mediterranean in flavour. On the left is an organic olive oil while on the right are these rather fascinating things called Socca chips. Socca is a giant chickpea pancake that is a specialty of Nice. The chips are like a deep fried version of socca and have a chickpea taste. Great for dipping in dips or eating alone.

Pork Pineapple Skewers

On that last day in Rome I also picked up a few things. We visited Testaccio, a neighbourhood of Rome a little off the tourist map. I visited the market there while Mr NQN went off to find the Aventine Keyhole. At the market I bought these gorgeous wooden rolling pins (clearly I couldn't choose which size I liked better) and this chestnut pasta which I have yet to cook - anyone got any suggestions for a sauce for the chestnut pasta?

Pork Pineapple Skewers

In our kitchen, you would also have found these balsamic pork and pineapple skewers marinating and waiting their turn on the grill. Some days you just want something easy and it doesn't get much easier than this. I was inspired by the lovely Rachel's sticky balsamic pork sandwiches - sometimes a recipe just grabs you instantly and you can't let go of it. This was one of them. I changed the marinade slightly and made it a bit spicier but it hasn't changed in its simplicity. The final brush of balsamic gives it a sweet slight tangyness and it smells wonderful grilling. I served it with coleslaw and Prosecco and within half an hour from beginning to end, dinner was on the table.

So tell me Dear Reader, do you have different reactions to countries than your partner/friends? And what fabulous kitchen or food things did you end up getting for Christmas?

Balsamic Pork & Pineapple Skewers

An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott/Not Quite Nigella

Preparation time: 5 minutes plus marinating time

Cooking time: 25 minutes

  • 500g/1lb. pork fillet tenderloin or whatever cut you like, cut into walnut sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3-4 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 pineapple, peeled
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Pork Pineapple Skewers

Step 1 - If you are using bamboo skewers, soak them in water. Mix the fennel seeds, coriander seeds, salt, cayenne and black pepper together in a ziplock bag and shake to combine. Place the pork pieces in with the spices and shake. Marinate for as little as 10 minutes or as long as 24 hours (if you intend to marinate it for 24 hours, omit the salt and add it in just before you cook the pork).

Step 2 - Heat the balsamic vinegar and honey together and simmer until it has thickened to a brushable glaze.

Pork Pineapple Skewers

Step 3 - Preheat the grill. Cut the pineapple into pieces. Thread the meat and alternate with the pineapple. Drizzle with oil. Grill the pork skewers for about 10 minutes turning over half way. Then brush with the glaze and then grill for another 5-8 minutes turning over halfway and brushing the other side.

Pork Pineapple Skewers