Friday, 17 December 2010

Pig on a stick, the perfect petisco

Petisco is to Portugal, what canape is to Christmas with cocktails. Wherever you are celebrating this year, what do you most like thrust in your face foodwise at a festa?
The Iceland Christmas ad this year has to be the strangest marketing ever. What ever were they thinking? "Real nuns", sorry that should read "Mums", dressed up as fin de siecle prostitutes, being wrangled by Jason Donovan prancing around in suspenders as a mustachioed ringmaster (ooh- er Mrs), in a hysterical celebration of beef n Yorkshire pud canapes.I thought my mum was a ´Real Mum`, but we never witnessed any of this malarkey back in the 50´s. A coincidence too, that to star in an Iceland ad, you need to have had an experience of  "cold turkey"?  Well,on with the blog.The other advert that has grabbed my attention is the Marks and Spencer new party food TV ad. In my former life I used to feed the mouths of supermarket food stylists on photo shoots. It was never a season away before word of my salad, soup and sandwich lunch items had got back to a head office somewhere and the odd facsimile appeared on the shelf of chill cabinets.One canape in this advert has inspired me,and with belly pork being so cheap and plentiful here in Portugal its now time for the oven gloves to go on and to get my own back.Tender slow-cooked pork belly squares ´get everyone talking´ says Caroline Quentin, and I want to get my guests tongue wagging about my home made version of this innovative nibble.
And with a little help you CAN be the hostess with the mostest.

Pig on a stick with honey and tomato glaze
makes 24 canapes

500g belly pork in thick rashers (approx. 4 rashers)
onion
1kg tomatoes
bay leaves 
thyme 
soya sauce
honey
Bring  a pan of water to a rolling boil and submerge the belly pork in it.This will get rid of a lot of the fat and soften what is left.Lower the heat and maintain a light simmer for 11/2 - 2 hours. Test for tenderness.Drain the pork and dry on kitchen towel. While the pork is cooking prepare the glaze.Cut your pork into bite sized cubes, not too large to fit on a cocktail stick.Skewer the cubes of pork one cube per stick and paint them all over with the glaze. Preheat your grill.Turn the skewers frequently basting them with more glaze until they have a sticky slightly caramelised coating with some charred patches. Place on little gem leaves and pass them around your guests,providing them with cocktail napkins in case of drips. 
This is a melting moment, that will have your taste buds jingling all the way.



 

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