Today, you can get three recipes for the price of one! This Trio Pinchos recipe, often spelled pintxos, are a popular Spanish tapas-like snack typically served on toothpick-skewered pieces of bread to keep the toppings in place (and to keep count of how many have been eaten). The first time we had a pincho was on a trip to Spain a few years back, and we quickly learned that the possibilities for toppings were practically endless.
We’ve made three variations that are simple to make but look fancy enough to serve as an appetizer. Even better, create a variety and have them for supper with a salad. Pork belly and peppers are a staple in my preferred recipe, so that shouldn’t surprise me. My sole experience with Spanish pinchos was the Pork Belly with Green Pepper Pinchos. Small, green, and mild padrón peppers were used to make these tapas, which were then deep-fried, salted, and served alongside ice cold beer. We used long green hot peppers instead because they were more accessible and had a comparable flavor. To balance out the fatty pork belly, we added some lemon zest.
Have a look at our three different versions of the Spanish pinchos recipes.
GREEN PEPPER PINCHOS & SEARED PORK BELLY WITH LEMON ZEST
Small, green, and mild padrón peppers were used to make pork belly pinxtos, which were then deep-fried, salted, and served as tapas with loads of cool beer.
- 8 oz. of pork belly
- 2 pcs. of long hot green peppers
- 1 small baguette, sliced
- olive oil
- 1 tsp. of garlic powder
- ¼ tsp. of chili powder
- ¼ tsp. of black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. of sea salt, plus more for garnish
- 1 tsp. of lemon zest, plus more for garnish
- chopped parsley, for garnish
- Cut the belly into quarter-inch pieces.
- Take off the peppers’ seeds and chop them into 1-inch cubes.
- Make a baking sheet full of baguette pieces. Toss them in a little olive oil and toast them at a low temperature in the oven. Add the spices (garlic powder, chili powder, black pepper, salt, and lemon zest) to a bowl and mix well. The pork belly tastes better after being rubbed with spices.
- Sear the pork belly and peppers in a cast iron pan coated with olive oil heated over medium-high heat.
- The pork has to be browned, but not crisped, before serving. Cook until the peppers are soft and caramelized. Put the pork belly on the toasted bread and top with a seared pepper to make the pinchos. Top with lemon zest, chopped parsley, and sea salt.
CHIMICHURRI STEAK PINCHOS
The second of our pinchos features steak and chimichurri. The chimichurri, an Argentinian spice of parsley and garlic, pairs wonderfully with steak.
- 12 oz. of sirloin steak
- 1 small baguette, sliced
- 2 tbsp. of chopped parsley
- 2 cloves of minced garlic
- ¼ tsp. of crushed red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp. of olive oil
- 1 tsp. of lemon juice
- Rinse and pat dry the steak, then sprinkle with salt. Bring a cast-iron skillet to high heat, add some olive oil, and sear the steak on both sides. Both sides should be nicely browned. Take it out of the pan and let it sit for ten minutes while you whip up the chimichurri. Put the parsley, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a bowl and mix well.
- Baguette should be toasted.
- Divide the steak among the slices of bread.
- Put a small amount of chimichurri on top of each. You won’t believe how amazing the flavors are together.
GAMBAS AL AJILLO PINCHOS
Third, we have a Pincho variation of the Gambas al Ajillo. Shrimp with garlic oil, or gambas al ajillo, is a popular tapas dish in Spain. Very simple and delicious.
- 1 lb. of shrimp (21-25 size, peeled, deveined)
- 1 small baguette, slice
- 1 head of garlic
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ tsp. of smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. of Paprika
- ¼ tsp. of salt
- 2 tbsp. of white wine
- 1 tbsp. of chopped parsley
- Fresh ground black pepper
- To prepare shrimp for cooking, wash and dry thoroughly. You should cut the baguette in half and toast it.
- All the garlic needs to be peeled and minced very coarsely. Put a quarter cup of olive oil in a pan and heat on low to medium. This pan is made of Spanish clay, but you can use any pan you like. While stirring, let the garlic sizzle gently for a few minutes (you don’t want to burn the garlic). Stir in the paprika and salt.
- Raise the temperature to be medium and add the shrimp to the pan. After 90 seconds, turn the shrimp over and pour the white wine over them. Allow the mixture to simmer for 2 minutes or until the shrimp is opaque. Toast some bread, then top with garlic oil and shrimp, then some parsley for decoration.