In this recipe, jerk seasoning lends a fiery kick to pork tenderloin, which because of its leanness requires a powerful flavoring component. The habanero is one of the hottest chiles, so you can decide how many you are brave enough to include. The plum relish, with its refreshing lime juice and mint, helps tame the heat.
Jerk-Spiced Pork Kebabs with Plum Relish
1 white or yellow onion, thickly sliced
4 green onions, white and green parts, thickly sliced
2 or 3 habanero chiles, seeded
2 tsp. ground allspice
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 Tbs. canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pork tenderloin, about 1 1/4 lb., silverskin removed, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
For the plum relish:
3 plums, pitted and cut into 1/4-inch dice
3 Tbs. finely diced red bell pepper (optional)
1 1/2 Tbs. minced red onion
1 to 3 Tbs. hot sauce, such as Pickapeppa Jamaican
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
8 to 12 mint leaves, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 tsp. minced fresh cilantro
In a food processor, combine the white and green onions, chiles, allspice, thyme, nutmeg, oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Process until puréed, then scoop out into a baking dish. Add the pork cubes, and toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours. If using bamboo skewers, soak 8 skewers in water for at least 1 hour.
To make the relish, in a nonreactive bowl, stir together the plums, bell pepper (if using), onion, hot sauce, lime juice, mint and cilantro. Set aside.
Remove the pork from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct-heat grilling over medium-high heat, or preheat a cast-iron stove-top grill pan over medium-high heat. Thread the pork cubes onto the skewers, pressing them snugly together. Wrap about 2 inches of the blunt end of each skewer in aluminum foil to make a handle. Pat the pork dry.
Place the skewers on the grill rack over the hottest part of the fire or in the grill pan, and cook until the pork is seared on all sides, browned and firm, about 1 1/2 minutes per side.
Remove the foil from the skewers and arrange on plates. Top with the relish and serve at once. Serves 4.