We've long known that just about anything tastes better on a stick, and Italian antipasti are no exception. If you're hosting for a crowd, skip the Italian appetizer platters and go straight for these light yet flavorful finger-friendly kebabs of Italian sausage, roasted peppers, basil, artichokes, and sun-dried tomatoes. Serve them on colorful toothpicks with a drizzle of balsamic reduction. Watch the video to see how it's done.
Is this your first Summer to face a grill? If so, don't be afraid to face the coals head-on: we've got you covered with a new series, BBQ U, where we coach you on all the fundamentals of grilling, and then some. Today we're tackling skewers, which, if you've never tried, are worth taking a stab at; after all, just about everything seems to taste better on a stick.
Kebabs are a barbecue staple, but it's important to be diligent in the prepping process. No matter how good the ingredients, seasoning, or sauce, if the ingredients are not properly cut and arranged, the kebab will not cook evenly and thoroughly on the grill. If you've experienced issues in the past or are new to kebab making, these five tips will help you perfect your prepping technique.
- Soak the skewers: Always soak wooden skewers before loading them up with vegetables. It will ward off splinters as you load them up with veggies, plus it prevents skewers from burning or catching on fire prematurely. Simply soak them in water for half an hour to an hour as you chop the veggies.
- Cut similar-sized shapes: Just as with other methods of cooking, the pieces of veggies and meat will cook at different rates if they are not the same size. Whether it's a mushroom or a piece of meat, make one item on the skewer the designated size, usually about an inch, and cut the other vegetables the same size.
Why do so many impromptu parties happen in the Summer? It seems like every weekend I'm running around trying to quickly throw together a refreshing pitcher drink or frozen dessert or fast appetizer. My latest creation when it comes to easy entertaining are these fruity and salty skewers. They're super simple to make, fun to eat, and taste delicious!
I used watermelon, feta cheese, and Kalamata olives, but if you don't like olives, the combination of watermelon and feta is a classic crowd-pleaser. These skewers were drizzled with basil oil, but any herb you have on hand (mint, cilantro, parsley, etc.) would pair with the watermelon. Read more to check out the recipe that's so uncomplicated it almost shouldn't be called a recipe!
I posted this recipe a few weeks ago at Dara & Co./Minnesota Monthly magazine.
Here's a light, refreshing take on the familiar chicken skewer. While the chicken marinates in wine, heat the grill and chop the cucumber, olives, and herbs. Grill the skewers, grill some bread brushed with olive oil, serve with the rest of the bottle of wine you opened for the marinade.
That's pretty much it.
Use the same marinade for pork or fish — you'll find it's fantastic. Finely dice other combinations of vegetables (or fruits) and herbs. Keep it simple. Always finish with a drizzle of excellent olive oil.
This is how to eat in the summer. Agree?
For her recipe, keep reading.
They may sound similar, but don't confuse satay with sauté.
Satay is a Southeast Asian dish of meat that's been marinated and seasoned (often with turmeric), skewered, grilled over a fire, and served with a sauce for dipping. The delicacy is extremely popular in Indonesia, as well as neighboring countries Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, where it's served everywhere from street carts to high-end restaurants. Variations may contain every type of meat from chicken and beef to turtle and mutton, as well as offal.
Satay can also come with a wide range of accompanying dipping sauces, including peanut gravy, soy-based condiments, pineapple sauce, and cucumber relish. Have you ever made satay?
Source: Flickr User avlxyz
Don't be afraid of marinades that involve yogurt. The live cultures and lactic acid help tenderize the meat and ensure moistness. This version marinates chunks of chicken in a yogurt, garlic, and cumin mixture. The resulting grilled chicken is flavorful and succulent.
The recipe pairs the kebabs with a quick garbanzo bean salad, but feel free to serve the chicken with a side of your choice. Fragrant couscous with grilled vegetables or a Mediterranean-style pasta salad would work wonderfully. To kick-start your weekend with this meal, get the recipe.
During summertime, there's nothing more natural to me than grilling kebabs for dinner. They're quick-cooking, simple to construct, and I think everything tastes better on a stick anyway. Even though you have to soak them for half an hour before use, I prefer to use wooden skewers; I stay away from metal ones because they conduct heat. However, my parents have the metal kind and love that they're reusable. Which do you prefer?
Whenever the mercury rises, I find myself craving delicate, no-cook seafood dishes — the less filling, the better. My favorite thing to do right now is to sear tuna on the grill, not until it's cooked through, but just enough for its exterior to be licked with a bit of a crusty char. That way, it's still tender, succulent, and refreshing.
For added flavor, I'd suggest brushing the fish with a basic marinade, such as this version with fresh cilantro leaves, lime juice, and olive oil. Don't fret if you aren't a cilantro fan; it'd work just as well with another aromatic leaf like basil or parsley. For the super-snappy recipe, read more.
When I think of grilling, my first thought is always red meat, which I've flame-broiled a lot of lately. But the barbie isn't just limited to grilled meats and vegetables; it's also an outstanding way to enhance the flavor of soy products such as tofu.
The key to a making a dish such as this one successful starts with using the right ingredients. Select the firmest tofu you can find; soft or silken varieties will slip through the grates. That, and don't skimp on the sauce: glaze the skewers generously, and more flavor will make its way to your plate. Serve it with lightly skillet-fried brown rice for a complete and healthy meal. For the recipe, read on.
After overconsuming steak and burgers over the weekend, I'm ready to redeclare my devotion to Summer seafood. I love to serve shrimp and pineapple kebabs, but tonight I'm going to try something different: Greek-style barbecued shrimp skewers, marinated with licorice-tinged aniseed, then strewn over a spinach salad with feta cheese and tzatziki, a creamy yogurt, cucumber, and dill sauce. For a different kind of seafood grill-out, read more.