September 18, 2011

Tips, Tidbits & Tricks: Grilling Kabobs

Kabobs may seem a bit mundane. But they aren't.

Mix your choice of protein, whatever veggies you've got in the fridge, and a tasty marinade, and you've got an easy supper.

- Marinate for optimal flavor. Tonight I went for Mediterranean flavors with olive oil, garlic, and oregano. Lemon juice would work great, but since we didn't have any lemons I used red wine vinegar as my acid in the marinade. Go Creole with some cajun seasoning, Asian with soy sauce, garlic, lime, and peanut oil.

- Traditionally you see kabobs with the components layered -- meat, pepper, onion, tomato, meat, pepper, get the idea. The problem with that is the cooking time for each of the kabob components is different. So by the time your meat is cooked through, the peppers are charred and the tomatoes have all but fallen in the fire.

Though it's not as fancy, I put each separate ingredient on it's own skewer. That way the chicken can cook for 12 minutes, peppers and onions for 7 and tomatoes for 2.

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- Use a medium-high heat. I had the grill around 400-425 which worked perfectly. Nice grill marks, juicy chicken, tender-crisp vegetables.

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- I like metal skewers rather than wood. There's no need to soak them ahead of time which I often forget until the last minute, so then supper is pushed back another 20 minutes. But forgetting to soak the skewers does allow time for another pre-dinner cocktail, so we'll call it wash. Better than the no-soaking is the lack of splintering as you spear the food onto the skewer.

- Don't mess with the kabobs too much once they're on the grill. The food is more likely to fall off.

- Enjoy al fresco while you can, my friend. Cooler weather is fast approaching.

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