There's something inexplicably fun about food on a stick, and kebabs (or skewers) are a summertime staple. Since you pile vegetables (or even fruit) onto the same stick as meat, kebabs are practically a meal in themselves. Plus, they're quick and easy to make, which always ranks up there in our books. Here are some tips for preparing tasty kebabs this summer.
If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for half an hour before loading them with food and grilling; if you don't, they will burn on the barbecue, and you don't want that charred taste to mar your food. If you're using metal skewers, spray them with non-stick cooking spray before putting your food on them. Metal skewers tend to be more sturdy, but if you're cooking for a large party, wooden skewers can be easier, since you can just throw them out afterward instead of having to collect and clean metal skewers.
Since you're combining all the ingredients onto one stick, make sure what you pair together needs the same amount of cooking time. If you know the meat you've chosen will cook quickly but that peppers need more time to soften and get that great grilled taste, then you may be better off grilling your peppers separately. If you don't pair up appropriate ingredients, you may end up with dried out, overcooked meat.
For balanced, attractive kebabs, all chunks of food on the skewer should be of equal size. This will also ensure all ingredients cook to the same doneness (see above).
As the kebabs are grilling, boost their flavour by brushing them with a marinade or a dressing. A simple pesto is a great way to add more flavour. Using leftover salad dressing is another quick way to change the flavour note of your main dish.
Don't just stick to the same old vegetables. Some fruits barbecue beautifully and pair up well with certain meats. Think pineapple or peaches with pork tenderloin, for example. Cheese can add a savoury note to skewers too, but be sure to use those that are firm enough to withstand grilling, such as halloumi or scamorza cheese.
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