A Trio of Pinchos

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Three recipes for the price of one today! Pinchos, or pintxos, are a Spanish snack related to tapas, but usually served on bread and skewered with toothpicks to keep the toppings on the bread (and to keep track of how many one’s eaten as the toothpicks pile up). We tried pinchos for the first time when traveling in Spain a few years ago, and there were a ton of tasty topping combinations.

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We’ve created three of our own versions, which are easy to prepare and look really impressive as an appetizer. You could even make a few different kinds and serve them with a nice salad for dinner. My favorite version, which should be no surprise, involves pork belly and peppers. Of the three, the Pork Belly with Green Pepper Pinchos are the only version that I actually tasted in Spain. They were made with small, green, and somewhat mild padrón peppers that were often deep-fried, salted, and served as tapas with lots of cold beer. We substituted long hot green peppers, which are easier to find, and taste somewhat similar. We also added lemon zest, which really created a nice contrast to the rich pork belly.

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The second pincho is a Steak & Chimichurri pincho. Chimichurri is an Argentinian condiment made with parsley and garlic, and with steak, the combination of flavors in incredible. Our third and final version is a Gambas al Ajillo Pincho. Gambas al Ajillo, or shrimp with garlic oil, is a really common tapas item in Spain. Really easy, and really good. Check out the recipes below!

 

SEARED PORK BELLY & GREEN PEPPER PINCHOS w/ LEMON ZEST

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You’ll need:

  • 8 oz. pork belly
  • 2 long hot green peppers
  • 1 small baguette, sliced
  • olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, plus more for garnish
  • chopped parsley, for garnish

Slice the pork belly ¼ inch thick slices.

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Remove the seeds from the peppers, and cut into 1-inch pieces.

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Slice the  baguette and lay the slices on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toast them lightly in the oven. In a bowl, combine the garlic powder, chili powder, black pepper, salt, and lemon zest. Rub the spices into the pork belly.

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Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a cast iron pan over medium high heat, and sear the pork belly and peppers on both sides.

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The pork should be nicely browned but not too crispy. The peppers should be wilted and browned. Assemble the pinchos by placing the pork belly on each piece of toasted bread with a seared pepper on top. Sprinkle with a little more sea salt, lemon zest, and chopped parsley.

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CHIMICHURRI STEAK PINCHOS

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You’ll need:

  • 12 oz. sirloin steak
  • 1 small baguette, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Pat the steak dry and season with salt. Heat a cast iron pan over high heat, add a bit of olive oil, and cook the steak to desired doneness. It should have a good sear on both sides. Remove from the pan and allow to rest for 10 minutes while making the chimichurri. In a bowl, combine the parsley, garlic, crushed red pepper, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice.

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Toast your baguette.

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Slice the steak and distribute the slices over the bread.

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Top each with a little dollop of chimichurri. The combination of flavors will blow your mind!

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GAMBAS AL AJILLO (GARLICKY SHRIMP) PINCHOS

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You’ll need:

  • 1 pound shrimp (21-25 size, peeled, deveined)
  • 1 small baguette, sliced
  • 1 head of garlic
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Clean the shrimp and pat dry. Slice and toast the baguette.

Peel all the garlic and mince finely. Add to a pan over medium low heat with ¼ cup olive oil. We have this clay pot from Spain, but any pan will work. Keep stirring, allowing the garlic to sizzle lightly (you want to make sure not to burn the garlic) for a few minutes. Add the paprika and salt and stir.

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Bring the heat up to medium and add the shrimp to the pan. Let the shrimp cook for 90 seconds, flip, and add the white wine. Let everything cook together for another 2 minutes, or until the shrimp is just cooked through. Place shrimp on toasted bread, drizzle with garlic oil, and garnish with parsley.

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PORK BELLY GREEN PEPPER PINCHOS W/ LEMON ZEST

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

PORK BELLY GREEN PEPPER PINCHOS W/ LEMON ZEST

Ingredients

8 oz. pork belly
2 long hot green peppers
1 small baguette, sliced
olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon lemon zest, plus more for garnish
chopped parsley, for garnish

Slice the pork belly ¼ inch thick slices. Remove the seeds from the peppers, and cut into 1-inch pieces. Slice the baguette and lay the slices on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toast them lightly in the oven. In a bowl, combine the garlic powder, chili powder, black pepper, salt, and lemon zest. Rub the spices into the pork belly.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a cast iron pan over medium high heat, and sear the pork belly and peppers on both sides. The pork should be nicely browned but not too crispy. The peppers should be wilted and browned. Assemble the pinchos by placing the pork belly on each piece of toasted bread with a seared pepper on top. Sprinkle with a little more sea salt, lemon zest, and chopped parsley.

http://thewoksoflife.com/2014/03/trio-pinchos/

CHIMICHURRI STEAK PINCHOS

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

12 oz. sirloin steak
1 small baguette, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 cloves minced garlic
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Pat the steak dry and season with salt. Heat a cast iron pan over high heat, add a bit of olive oil, and cook the steak to desired doneness. It should have a good sear on both sides. Remove from the pan and allow to rest for 10 minutes while making the chimichurri. In a bowl, combine the parsley, garlic, crushed red pepper, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice. Toast your baguette.

Slice the steak and distribute the slices over the bread. Top each with a little dollop of chimichurri. The combination of flavors will blow your mind!

http://thewoksoflife.com/2014/03/trio-pinchos/

GAMBAS AL AJILLO (GARLICKY SHRIMP) PINCHOS

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

1 pound shrimp (21-25 size, peeled, deveined)
1 small baguette, sliced
1 head of garlic
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon Paprika
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons white wine
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Fresh ground black pepper

Clean the shrimp and pat dry. Slice and toast the baguette.

Peel all the garlic and mince finely. Add to a pan over medium low heat with ¼ cup olive oil. We have this clay pot from Spain, but any pan will work. Keep stirring, allowing the garlic to sizzle lightly (you want to make sure not to burn the garlic) for a few minutes. Add the paprika and salt and stir.

Bring the heat up to medium and add the shrimp to the pan. Let the shrimp cook for 90 seconds, flip, and add the white wine. Let everything cook together for another 2 minutes, or until the shrimp is just cooked through. Place shrimp on toasted bread, drizzle with garlic oil, and garnish with parsley.

http://thewoksoflife.com/2014/03/trio-pinchos/

 

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