*Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California work well.
Give your tastebuds a tasty kick with these savory bites. Serve as part of your party buffet.
By: Courtney Schaardt, Mentor
When I looked into applying to be a Pork Mentor, I had no idea what it would be or what type of knowledge I would need to have about swine. My background is a little different from the other mentors as I am not from the production side of swine, but from the processing side. My parents own a meat locker and I have shown pigs at the county fair, but that is really all the closer I have been to a pig. My grandparents and uncles own cattle so that is more of what I know about. The reason I wanted to be a mentor was so I could be an advocate for agriculture. After growing up in a small town and seeing what my family does, I have been able to see the importance of agriculture. This is a great opportunity to meet new people who love what I love, and to be able to learn from them and hopefully to be able to teach them as well.
I think that there is a lot to be learned from this mentoring program. I think that experience, self-growth and new friends can be gained through this program. I plan to gain experience from all of the traveling that comes with this program. In the next couple of weeks I plan to travel with Kyla to Grand Island and Columbus for Ag Day to teach third and fourth graders. This seems like a learning experience for me as well as the students. My major is ALEC, and this will help me to decide which direction I want to take in the program. I also plan to take advantage of the job shadowing opportunities. I’m not completely sure what I want to do for the rest of my life and I think that with these experiences will help. I’m willing to try a variety of different things. Throughout my year as a mentor, I plan to be as involved as I can. Learning is important to me and I think that learning about pork will be interesting.
This year is going to full of new experiences and new people. It’s going to go faster than any of us can imagine. I hope to be able to accomplish the things I have planned and even things I don’t have planned. After talking to a member of last years mentoring class I know that this is going to be one awesome experience.
2 large red bell peppers, seeded, deribbed, and cut into 1-inch squares
2 large sweet onions, such as Walla Walla or Vidalia, cut into 1-inch chunks
12 12-inch skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
Vegetable oil cooking spray
Indian Spice Paste:
4 large cloves garlic
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons water
To make Indian spice paste, place garlic in food processor and process until minced. Add spices, lemon juice, oil, and water. Process until thoroughly combined.
Place pork in large self-sealing plastic bag. Pour paste over pork and mix pork with paste until pork is evenly coated. Seal bag and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.
Prepare medium-hot fire in charcoal grill or preheat gas grill to medium high. Thread pork onto skewers, alternating with pieces of red pepper and onion. Spray grill grate with vegetable oil spray. Grill kabobs directly over medium-hot fire, turning to brown evenly on all sides, for total of 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to warm platter or individual dinner plates and serve.
These delicious, colorful kabobs are terrific served with rice pilaf or flavorful couscous and a medley of grilled vegetables. The Indian spice rub can be made several days in advance. Place in a covered jar and refrigerate until ready to use.
Protein: 27 grams
Fat: 10 grams
Sodium: 420 milligrams
Cholesterol: 80 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 2 grams
Carbohydrates: 8 grams
Fiber: 2 grams
When you are in a hurry—turn to cuts that cook up quickly, such as chops, tenderloins and cutlets.
Recipe from: PorkBeInspired.com
By: Michelle Semler
On Saturday March 10th I had the pleasure of traveling to Omaha with Kyla to the Affiliated Food Show at the Century Link Center. Once we arrived I learned that Affiliated Foods consist of a group of independent grocery store owners from around the Midwest who join together to form a wholesale buying group. The food show is put on so that the store owners are able to scope out possible products that in the future they may like to see on their shelves.
As we walked into the Century Link Center one’s eyes nearly gloss over at the astonishing number of vendors and agriculturally related groups, such as ourselves the Nebraska Pork Producers, whom all have a display booths in one large room. Before we give Jane and her son Will a break from manning the Pork Producers booth Kyla and I wonder around for a bit.
The show is divided up into different sections such as baked goods, beverages, meats, etc… We of course start our journey of tasting within the meats section and remain here for most of our short journey. As we taste multiple products such as sausages, shrimp, mini corn dogs, and many more delectable treats not only is my mouth on fire from something spicy I indulged in my mind is on fire as I realize the majority of the processed meats products the vendors are attempting to sell are made from pork.
As we settle down to man the Pork Producers booth for a few hours I realize we are sitting directly across from a display of Spam made by Hormel. Even a few of their representatives are dressing the part of Spam Lovers and happen to be wearing Spam shirts (I was kinda jealous of these shirts). Huh…what are the chances that I come across another processed pork product after already sampled a handful? Having a bit of a love for fun facts I immediately remember that Spam celebrated its 75th anniversary a few weeks ago. For the majority of individuals, when they think “pork” their mind brings them pictures of pork chops, bacon, or a Christmas ham not such pork products as summer sausage, hot dogs, McRibs, and of course Spam.
The National Pork Board has recently changed their ad campaign to “Pork: Be Inspired”. Even though the campaign is new, people have been inspired by pork for many years, (for example the individuals who invented Spam ¾ of a century ago), and people continue to be inspired as vendors handed out samples of new and exciting pork products they were attempting to sell to the grocery store owners.
Aside from sitting across from the Hormel booth Kyla and I were able to interact with attendees from all age groups as they wandered around the food show themselves. Many people were excited for a free basting brush, bracelet, or koozie from our booth as well as learning from pamphlets possible new recipes for using pork and the new recommended cooking time and rest period.
It is always interesting to interact with the public and see all the personalities that they have to offer. Even thought this was only the 1st of many promotional activities I will take part in this year I am excited for future events as well. Not only will I have the opportunity to educate people about pork production and processing, but intend to learn more about the industry myself and “be inspired” to continue this involvement when I begin a career within animal agriculture.