I have to confess two things to you – I adore cooking outdoors and eating with my hands. Yes, it might sound barbaric, but these are two of the greatest pleasures of life!
I live in Seville, in a flat near downtown, so anytime I am invited to an outdoor event that involves food and nature, I am all in!
For these occasions I have my lauded recipe of “pinchito moruno”, which translates to a Moorish skewer, but is understood to be a marinated meat skewer.
The marinade contains vinegar and lime juice, so it doubles as a preservative, allowing me to prepare it a couple days in advanc. It even freezes well, so I can have my “pinchitos” ready for a culinary emergency, if you know what I mean.
Some of my favorite qualities of this dish are:
- It’s easy to carry in a food container.
- We can grill the skewers and then eat the meat directly with our hands and some nice bread, of course. By now you must know that we Spaniards love bread and it’s not only used for sandwiches. I truly believe that this is part of our Arab heritage. As you may know in the traditional Arab gastronomy it is common to use flat bread as edible cutlery.
- It’s so fun to prepare the marinade with so many spices that I feel like a wizard preparing a magic potion!
This marinade works great with chicken, pork, or lamb meat. When you make this marinade it is important to focus on the spices; let me know how you feel with your kitchen packed full of exotic aromas as if you were in the middle of an Arabic market (Arab souq). Cooking is a magical excursion – transporting you to different countries around the world or even traveling through time.
So, let us travel together to ancient Al-Andalus with this antique and traditional recipe:
2 pounds (1 kg) of pork loin or chicken thighs or lamb.
Base: extra virgin olive oil, sherry wine vinegar, and sea salt (to taste)
Chef’s Tip: I don’t measure these ingredients for this recipe, I simply allow my instincts to guide myself. But if you might feel intimidated about quantities, I would recommend you start off with around ½ cup of Olive Oil, 2 tbsp of vinegar, and ¼ tsp of salt. Adjust these portions as you deem necessary
Spices and others:
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tbsp ground smoked Spanish paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper corn
- 1/2 tbsp ground ginger
- 1/2 minced red onion
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Optional: 6 saffron threads
- A mixing bowl
- A cutting board and a sharp knife
- A spatula or a table spoon to for mixing
- Several skewers.
Chef’s Tip: I prefer metal skewers to wood ones.
- Combine and mix the EVOO, vinegar and salt.
- Combine and add all the spices and mix again.
- Add the onions and garlic; mix well.
- Add the lemon juice and the cilantro.
- Mix in a blender until you achieve a thin sauce
- Cut the meat into even cubes
- Cover the meat with the marinade, mix well and let it marinate overnight in the fridge
- Put the meat onto the skewers
- Cook the skewers of meat on the grill
Now that you have your amazingly tasty and tender spiced skewers, here are a few of my recommendations for enjoying them as the Spaniards do.
- Pair with your fave chilled beer.
- Serve them with your favorite sauce and, of course, good bread.
- Call your besties to enjoy together, because you know that sharing is caring!