Sweet Spiced Pork Kebabs

Sweet Spiced Pork Kabobs
Patsy Catsos, MS, RDN, LD
Total Time 22 min
Prep 10 min, Cook 12 min
Yield 12 kebabs (179 cals for 2)

Pork and apples are a classic combination, but apples are high in FODMAPs. This IBS-friendly variation uses grapes instead of apples to lend sweetness, for a festive and attractive main dish or appetizer. Kebabs can be assembled ahead of time and refrigerated until grill-time for convenience.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound pork loin chop
  • ½ cup packed fresh basil (24 large leaves)
  • 24 large red globe grapes

Preparation

  1. Soak twelve 10-inch wooden skewers in water for at least 20 minutes, to prevent the wood from burning on the grill.
  2. In a small bowl, combine cumin, fenugreek, allspice, cardamom, salt, and pepper and set aside.
  3. Cut the pork into uniformly sized 3/4-inch cubes. Sprinkle the spice mixture onto the pork cubes and stir until well coated.
  4. Start each kebab by sliding a cube of pork onto the skewer. Wrap a basil leaf around a grape and thread onto the skewer so that the leaf is pierced in two places and trapped in place. Continue threading, alternating with pork cubes, until each skewer has three pieces of pork and two basil-wrapped grapes, being careful to leave no gaps. Leave room on the ends of the skewer to handle the kebabs.
  1. Preheat the gas grill (or, if using charcoal, allow coals to burn until they are covered with a thin layer of gray ash). Grill for 10 to 12 minutes, turning occasionally, until pork is only slightly pink in the middle, or to your desired level of doneness.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

Red globe grapes work best in this recipe, as their size and firm skin will help them survive grilling without falling off the skewer, but other grapes may also be used.

Kebabs can also be broiled. Place an oven rack about 3 inches below the heating element at the top of your oven and preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread out the kebabs on top of the foil. Broil, watching closely and turning several times, until pork has reached the desired level of doneness. Grapes may start to caramelize in places, and will soften somewhat.

Cooking and Serving Tips

To dry basil leaves after washing them, pat them with paper towels or spin them dry in a salad spinner.

Serve these kebabs on their own as an appetizer, or over greens in a salad. Or, serve them over a grain of your choice to make them into a hearty meal.

Fenugreek seeds are not often encountered in Western cooking, and may be hard to find outside of specialty shops. If you can get your hands on some, they will probably be whole, and you will have to grind them yourself.

You may want to toast them first, in a dry skillet, for some extra flavor. If you can't track them down, don't worry; this recipe will be lovely without them, too.

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