Something about dads and a grill seem to mix just as smoothly as peanut butter and jelly. Let’s light the fire this month with a tasty tribute to our fathers.
As a kid of the 70s and 80s, the idea of ”exotic cuisine” in our house was pretty much relegated to simple flavor profiles. There are a few oldies and goodies that I’m making one more time in a blue moon for my own family, and this is one of them. Flavors of sweet and sour are the perfect complement to whatever you want to marinate.
EVERYTHING SHISH KABOB
For the kebabs:
2 pounds chicken, beef, fish, shrimp, tofu, or other protein, cut into 1-inch cubes
½ pint of cherry tomatoes
1 red onion, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 sweet yellow onion, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
½ pineapple, peeled and cored and cut into 1-inch pieces (reserve core for marinade)
For the marinade:
2 cups low-salt soy sauce or tamari
¼ cup sherry
1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons honey
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
6 cups cooked rice, to serve
Whisk the ingredients together in a large bowl.
Use metal skewers or pre-soaked wooden skewers, wire kebab ingredients, alternating fruits, vegetables and protein as you see fit. Place in a glass casserole dish and pour over the marinade so that the kebabs are coated as evenly as possible. Marinate in the fridge for 1 hour, or overnight for a stronger flavor.
Preheat the gas or charcoal grill to high. Place the skewers on the grill and cook over high heat for about 10 minutes, turning often until cooked through. Serve with rice.
Grilling steak is always an easy way to grill in the backyard. The addition of a compound butter (nice word for butter mixed with spices) elevates this simple staple.
BLACK AND BLUE STEAK AND PACK OF POTATOES
For the blue compound butter:
½ cup butter, melted
¼ cup blue cheese, crumbled
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
Black pepper ground to taste
Combine the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (up to four days).
For the steak:
2 pounds London broil, room temperature
Salt and black pepper to taste
For the potato packages:
4 large new potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes, with skins
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon onion powder (no salt)
1 tablespoon garlic powder (no salt)
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine the potato packet ingredients in a large bowl and coat the potato pieces thoroughly. Divide between 6 pieces of aluminum foil and seal them into a flat package.
Preheat the grill to high. Reduce to medium and grill steak for about 15 minutes until cooked through to your liking, turning halfway through. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, place the potato parcels on the grill, turning every few minutes.
Let the steak cool on a cutting board for 10 minutes. While it cools, place dollops of the compound butter on top of the steak so it can melt. Slice and serve along with potato packets.
Summer is the best time to make a mussel or seafood platter, but the effort to put it all together may seem daunting. Here’s a quick and tasty version that can be grilled in a jiffy.
SUMMER TIME BAKING SEAFOOD
1 pound king prawns, peeled and deveined
2 dozen cherrystone mussels, scrubbed
1 pound kielbasa, halved lengthwise, cut into 6 pieces
3 lemons, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
3 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
6 ears of corn, dehulled and soaked in water for 30 minutes
Combine shrimp, clams, sausage, and lemon halves in a large bowl. Brush with oil, garlic and Old Bay. Transfer to a grill basket or disposable aluminum pan. Preheat the grill to high and lower to medium. Place the grill basket or pan in the center of the grill along with the corn. Turn the corn every 2 to 3 minutes, taking care not to burn the husk (keep a cup of water nearby). Turn the grill basket or turn each item in the pan after 3 minutes and continue cooking until the mussels open. Serve along with plenty of napkins.