My in-laws are coming over for dinner and I had planned a roasted rosemary chicken dish accompanied by a lovely mushroom risotto (misnomer because it's actually made with barley) that I found in the The Sonoma Diet book. However, the thought of the oven on for an hour and standing over the stove and stirring for 45 minutes on one of the hottest days yet, made me come up with the need for an alternative.
So I pulled out my grilling cookbooks and found exactly what I was looking for in BBQ Food For Friends by Jane Lawson & Vanessa Broadfoot. You'll have to check back tomorrow for the recipes, because this post is really about the tools. I wanted to do something more than just throw some steaks on the grill (delicious as that would be). So when I found two recipes that required skewers I was excited. But what really caught my attention was that one recipe used rosemary skewers and tucked on the same page is my handwritten scribble (obviously I was watching some cooking show and didn't mention which one)was another recipe that used lemongrass skewers. And yet antother entry for Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging Event.
I'm actually cross posting to Ask Ruth because I thought I take the opportunity to talk about options. The long stainless steel skewers on the left are standard and good for everything, but really work the best for meat (because they're so sturdy and long), especially if you want to make kebabs of ground lamb and seasonings - I'll have to do that in the near future. Then there are bamboo skewers (second from right) that you need to soak for at least 30 minutes before using them. I love them for satays (chicken, beef, lamb or pork) and they're fabulous for shrimps, scallops and firm fish. They're much easier to use, especially when making appetizer sized portions.
But for the really fun skewers....try to do chicken or fish on rosemary skewers (extreme right). You just remove all the leaves except for the tuft at the end. I chop up the leaves, mix them with some olive oil, lemon juice and garlic and voila a marinade! Rosemary has quite a potent aroma, so you don't really need to add too many other flavors to the marinade (if you even choose to use one at all). Another interesting skewer that flavors from within is lemongrass stalks (second from the left). It gives a sublte Asian flavor so you can add ginger, soy, garlic, etc. to marinades.
So for those of you out there who are already adventurous with skewers, let me know what your favorites are and I'll post a round up. You can email me at ruth AT 4everykitchen DOT com.Related links: Food and Drink recipes Grill Kitchen Toys South Beach Diet