Pork pairs with peppers for fast meal



Pork tenderloin plays many roles. The sauced king of the gourmet dinner. The grilled picnic prince. Or the quick kebabed mate for a sassy red pepper. Take your pick.

For me, the cubed version is the best choice for any get-it-on-the-table-fast meal. I give it a Mediterranean hit with a cumin and hot paprika coating. Another fast actor completes the entree: couscous. Cook it with lightly sauteed sweet onions, such as Vidalia or Maui varieties, and top it with the kebabs.

Carol Mighton Haddix writes for the Chicago Tribune.

Menu Suggestion

Pork and red-pepper kebabs with sweet-onion couscous

Curly endive with orange dressing

Crusty rolls

Apple tart

Pork and Red-Pepper Kebabs With Sweet-Onion Couscous

4 servings -- Preparation time: 20 minutes -- Cooking time: 5 minutes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small sweet onion, chopped

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon salt (divided use)

1 box (10 ounces) plain couscous

1 pork tenderloin, about 1 pound, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 teaspoons hot paprika or smoked Spanish paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Heat broiler. Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium-high heat; add onion. Cook, stirring often, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add broth, water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt; heat to a boil. Stir in couscous. Remove from heat; cover. Set aside 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, place pork in bowl; add paprika, cumin, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Alternate threading pork and red-pepper pieces on skewers; place on broiler pan. Broil kebabs until pork is cooked through, turning once, about 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork; spoon onto plates. Top with kebabs. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Note: These kebabs also are perfect for grilling over medium coals. If using bamboo skewers, soak them in water at least 20 minutes before using.

Per serving: 519 calories; 13 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 75 milligrams cholesterol; 61 grams carbohydrate; 37 grams protein; 971 milligrams sodium; 5.5 grams fiber

Recipe and analysis from the Chicago Tribune

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