Party? Add Flava’ & Flair with Jerk Bites

5 Feb

Whether it is the Big Game, the book club or poker, good food will flavor your gathering for success. This weekend my menu includes Jerk Appetizer Bites with

Jerk Appetizer Bites with Mango

Jerk Appetizer Bites with Mango

Mango. The recipe is inspired by one that I developed for a Black History Month recipe brochure for the National Pork Board.

This made-from-scratch jerk marinade is versatile and can be used to infuse Carribbean flavor to the meat of your choice. Today I’m using pork and the ingredients listed include a range for those who like hot, hotter or hottest. Add jerk bites to the food table and your guests will clamor for more.

Jerk Appetizer Bites

2 lbs. boneless pork loin, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes

2/3 cup canola oil

1/3 cup fresh lime juice

2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2/3 cup chopped onions

2 hot chili peppers, finely chopped, about 1/4 cup *

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon each brown sugar, and ground allspice

2 teaspoons black pepper

1 to 1-1/4 teaspoons salt

1-1/2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon each ground nutmeg and cinnamon

3/4 -1teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Mango or pineapple chunks

Place pork in 1-quart zip-top bag.  In 2-quart bowl, combine oil, lime juice and vinegar; add onions, peppers and garlic. Stir in combined remaining ingredients, mixing to blend. Pour seasoning mixture over pork cubes. Seal bag and marinate in refrigerator turning once, 8 to 12 hours or overnight. Drain meat; discard marinade.

Place meat cubes in single layer in a foil-lined baking pan. Cover pan with aluminum foil. Bake at 350°F, 20 to 25 minutes or until pork is tender. To serve place fruit and meat chunks on wooden picks. Garnish with lime wedges or fresh thyme if desired.

YIELD: Approx. 10 servings

*Some like it hot–Jalapeno or Habanero chilies may be used

Note: 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper may be substituted for red pepper flakes

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