This week is the week — the start of spring break.
Just as a forewarning, I will unfortunately not be writing a column for next week. Instead, I’ll most likely be recovering in New Orleans from my 21st birthday and the sunburn I’m destined to get in the Gulf Shores. But don’t be too sad. I’ll return refreshed, re-energized and ready to teach you how to prepare a to-be-determined New Orleans style dish.
I have a physics exam tomorrow, and am currently cramming at the library, so I’m going to keep this short.
Nevertheless, from Chef Sogs to you, this spring break be safe, have fun, relax, make some money if that’s your thing, spend some money if that’s your thing, revitalize, rejuvenate … I think you get the point.
Given that it’s spring break, I wanted to give you guys something that could be made on the beach, the mountains or anywhere else. This recipe is extremely easy to make, regardless of location, resources and time — as long as you have a grill. So, sit back, relax, sip on a cold beverage and prepare your crew a nice meal.
This recipe has meat, but be creative and substitute seafood, meat alternatives or just completely disregard it if that’s your thing.
Ingredients for two or three:
12 wooden or metal skewers
1 pound of your choice of meat(s) (My personal favorite is beef.)
1 yellow squash
2 bell peppers
1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes
1 red onion
Include any other vegetables as you feel fit
1 bottle of your choice of teriyaki, barbecue, balsamic dressing, olive oil, etc. (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small baguette
Before anything, if you purchased wooden skewers, find a normal drinking glass (the taller the better) and start soaking the dowels in water. I personally think soaking the dowels doesn’t really do much. I’ve grilled for thousands of people at festivals using dowels that were soaked for a week and they still burn. But I suppose it prevents them from burning right away. You can avoid this problem by using metal skewers.
Nevertheless, after preparing your skewers, preheat your grill to medium heat. Do not crank it up all the way: This will char your kebabs and lead to rapid burning of the skewers.
Next, start cutting your vegetables (after washing them, of course). Cut the squash into 1 inch cylinders. Then cut those in half so the squash looks like little half cylinders. For both the onion and the peppers, cut once down the vertical to yield two halves. Clean the seeds out of the pepper and cut each half twice down the vertical and once through the horizontal. Basically, you’re cutting each half into sixths. This will give you easily manageable chunks to place on the skewer. No preparation is required for the tomatoes.
If you cut your vegetables first, you should clean your knife and cutting board. But if you don’t clean it, you probably won’t die if you switch directly to cutting the meat. Do not switch directly from cutting meat to vegetables under any circumstances.
Cutting the meat will vary depending on the cut that you get, but aim to cut everything into approximately 1 inch cubes.
After preparing everything, build your kebabs. Mix and match the vegetables and meat however you like. Take a nice picture to Instagram — they’ll be very colorful. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the kebabs to taste. Then, slightly sauce the kebabs. Do not reuse the sauce you used to slather kebabs to later eat with the cooked kebabs. Set some sauce aside to prevent this from happening.
Finally, make sure your grill is hot and grill away. I highly recommend using a covered grill because an uncovered grill will result in much longer cooking times. If you don’t have a grill you could make these on a greased sheet tray in the oven at 350 F.
Grill the kebabs until you get nice color on the vegetables and meat. Make sure the meat is cooked, especially when dealing with chicken. If you are at all worried about your ability to cook meat fully, cut it into smaller chunks when preparing it. Once the kebabs are 80 percent cooked, slather on a little more of your sauce and wait until they finish cooking.
Slice the baguette into small pieces, and grill for a few minutes, or until grill marks appear. Enjoy your kebabs with the grilled baguette and a sunset wherever you may be.
As always, let me know if you have any questions, comments or suggestions at [email protected].
That is all for now,