Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tips for Terrific Kabobs

Depending on which part of the country you live in, grilling season has arrived or is just around the corner. Kabobs (or kebabs, if you prefer) are a convenient way to enjoy several different tastes and textures in one meal, and are easy to make. Here are some quick tips to help you make the best kabobs, whether using meat, vegetables, chicken, seafood or fruit:

*If using metal skewers, to keep the food from sticking make sure the skewers completely clean and have no burnt-on residue from prior use

*If using wooden or bamboo skewers, soak them in water for half an hour before using to keep them from burning during grilling

*Make sure your grill is completely clean to keep the kabobs from sticking while they cook. Brushing the preheated grate with vegetable oil will also help reduce sticking (use a fireproof grill brush!)

*Use ingredients that are the same size to allow them to finish cooking at the same time

*If making kabobs for the family or a barbecue and you'd like to let folks assemble their own "custom" kabobs, serve each ingredient in separate bowls so people can choose which veggies, meats, etc. they'd like on their kabobs. Provide two or three barbecue and grilling sauces (or more) from which folks can select.

*If using harder ingredients that tend to take longer to grill, such as chunks of corn on the cob or Brussels sprouts, slightly precook them in the microwave or in boiling water until just barely softened

*If planning on marinating kebab ingredients, do so first and then skewer the marinated ingredients. Discard used marinade and use fresh marinade for basting during grilling

*Make dessert kabobs with grill-friendly fruit such as chunks of fresh pineapple, peach, mango, and even fresh figs (cut in half). You'll want to either save space on your grill for fruit kabobs or clean off a section of the grate used for savory foods before grilling the dessert kabobs

*Consider chunks of moist breads as a complementary kebab ingredient: e.g., corn bread chunks or focaccia chunks for savory kabobs, pound cake chunks for fruit kabobs

Zestfully yours,

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