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North African-Spiced Pork Skewers

Serves 4 as a hearty appetizer

This flavorful appetizer is full of spices that are complex and layered without being overwhelming to a wine. The Amici Chardonnay, with its round flavors of ripe apple and melon with a hint of toasty oak, balances the spice in this dish perfectly.

For the North African spice rub:

  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ¾ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme (or ½ tsp dried)

For the pork:

  • 1 lb. pork tenderloin, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, mashed with the blade of a knife into a paste
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp grated orange zest
  • 1Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ lb. seedless Red Flame grapes
  • 12 ea 6" bamboo skewers, soaked in water overnight
  • extra virgin olive oil as needed

Measure all the dry spices, not including the thyme, into a stainless steel sauté pan. Over medium heat toast the spices until a small amount of smoke just begins to emanate from the pan. Immediately remove the spices from the pan, adding the thyme while the spices are still warm, and let cool.

Place cubed pork into a stainless steel bowl. Add the spice mixture, garlic paste, lemon juice, orange juice, orange zest and parsley. Mix until the pork pieces have been evenly coated. Add the olive oil and mix once again. Allow the pork to marinate overnight.

Begin the skewering process with a piece of pork, and then alternate with a grape, and then another piece of pork, finishing with a grape. Grill the kebabs over a gas or wood grill for approximately 6 minutes, turning often. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately accompanied by Amici Cellars Chardonnay Sonoma Coast.