In this modern Latin party food recipe, the chili spice mix is the secret ingredient that makes this dish sing. It adds a lovely color and intense flavor to the pork bites. I also suggest putting extra on the table, so your guests can sprinkle extra on at will.
Pair pork with pineapple, whose flavors have been enhanced by a complex rum and grilling. The decadence of the pineapple adds a sweet, juicy element to the lean pork. Your guests will be popping these in their mouths with joy!
See more recipes and ideas for hosting a fun and hot Latin party at this link.
MAKES ABOUT 50 BITES
MARINATE THE PINEAPPLE
6 oz Kracken rum
2 TB maple syrup
1 pineapple, cored and cut into 1-inch cubes
Gently heat rum and sugar to incorporate, about 2 min. Let cool. Marinate pineapple chunks in mix in the fridge.
MAKE THE CHILI SPICE MIX
Combines bitter annato seeds, some fiery aspects, and a touch of cinnamon. The flavors blend well with meats and could also work in some sweet dishes as well. To grind the spices, use a coffee grinder devoted to spice grinding, and be done in a jiffy.
Makes about 1/3 cup
1 TB annato seeds, crushed in spice grinder
1 TB pink peppercorns, crushed in spice grinder
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/4 CUP chili powder
1 TB onion salt
1 TB cinnamon
Use a mortar and pestle if you don’t have a spice grinder. Transfer crushed annato seeds and pink peppercorns to a bowl and mix everything together.
1 LB pork loin
Chili Spice Mix
Cut loin into 3/4 inch-thick fillets. Rub spice mix all over.
PREHEAT OVEN 350ºF… COOK THE PORK
Heat up a skillet. Sear meat, about 3 min on each side. Move to a baking dish. Cook about 8 min. Let meat rest 5 min.
1 TB honey
Baste pineapple chunks with honey. Sear on grill pan turning frequently.
cilantro, torn into individual leaves
grilled pineapple pieces
Sweet Hot Sauce (optional)
Cut pork into 1-inch cubes. Place sprig of cilantro on top of pineapple bit, spear with toothpick, then stick into a piece of pork. Drizzle Sweet Hot Sauce over it.
See these 3 sauce recipes—and more—for a hot and steamy Latin dance party in 07 A Latin Fiesta