It’s officially grilling season. Steaks, chicken, burgers and hot dogs will grace the grill through summer’s sultry afternoons and long evenings.
For special occasions, though, offering kebabs will please everyone at the table. Though they’re a little fussy to make, kebabs invariably delight diners. What is it about dinner on a stick?
We have marinades for beef, lamb and shrimp, with suggestions for sauces and side dishes that will make your grilling adventure a success.
First, a couple of tips. Skewer meat and vegetables separately since meat and vegetables cook at different speeds. Cherry tomatoes always seem to fall off during cooking. Leave a bit of space between the pieces when you skewer them so each can cook to perfection.
Vegetable kebabs don’t have to be limited to peppers, zucchini, cherry tomatoes and onion. Try making mushroom skewers, mixing portobello, cremini, white button and shiitake. Or consider ratatouille skewers of Japanese eggplant rounds, zucchini, jarred roasted peppers and onion chunks. Mix fruits with vegetables if you like; pineapple’s a good choice, as are peaches.
Whatever your vegetable skewer choices, cook them on a cooler area of the grill, and brush them as they cook with olive oil warmed with crushed garlic, a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper.
Plan on one to two skewers of meat or shrimp and one of vegetables for each guest.
Whether you choose wooden or metal skewers, select long ones rather than short. Doing so gives the chef a cooler part of the skewer to use as a handle, which makes turning the kebabs easier.
Kebabs cook quickly, so you’ll need to babysit them at the grill, turning them frequently.