Dust off those barbecues people… it is time to get outside and grill!
Shish kebabs are one of my favorite meals to eat and make when the weather warms up.
They’re basically the spring and summer equivalent of a one-pot dinner- with minimal preparation and cleanup, and a super easy cooking process, these guys are a cinch to make with pantry ingredients for the marinade and delicious fresh vegetables and chicken. You can substitute any protein for the chicken… steak would be fantastic here!
I recommend marinating and grilling the vegetables and meat separately, for two reasons: You can use any leftover marinade for the vegetables for brushing on the kebabs during grilling, and you can remove the vegetable kebabs earlier than the chicken ones so that they don’t burn, since the vegetables will cook through much quicker than the chicken.
¼ cup white worcestershire sauce (optional, add more white wine if you don’t have)
⅓ cup olive oil
For the kebabs:
4 boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-2 inch chunks
1 green pepper, cut into 1 inch square pieces
1 red pepper, cut into 1 inch square pieces
2 zucchinis, sliced into ½ inch discs
1 red onion, cut into 6 pieces
1 lemon, cut in half
kosher salt and pepper
Soak about 6-8 wooden skewers in water before starting. Soaking the sticks reduces the risk of them burning while grilling.
In a bowl, combine the mustard, white wine, lemon juice, red pepper flakes and white worcestershire sauce. Whisk in the olive oil to make a thick dressing that will act as our marinade.
In a large freezer bag, add all the vegetables and half of the marinade. In another large freezer bag, add the chicken. Let marinate in the refrigerator for an hour, more if possible, turning the bags frequently.
When ready to grill, turn on the grill to medium high heat. Using your soaked skewers, make skewers with all vegetables and separate skewers with all meat. This allows you to be able to remove the vegetable skewers earlier than the meat ones if needed, to prevent burning.
Add the skewers to the grill and cook, turning every few minutes or so to prevent burning. You’ll want to cook the vegetables for about 5-7 minutes until crispy and charred on the edges but not burnt, and the chicken for about 10-15 minutes until cooked through.
Remove meat and vegetable skewers to a platter, and immediately squeeze a half a lemon over everything. Dust with kosher salt and any herbs if desired. Let sit for a few minutes, remove everything from the skewers, serve and enjoy!
These kebabs have so much flavor, and there’s nothing like a great char to make a meal truly special. I love grilling outdoors, and I am so excited barbecue season has officially begun!
Want some other great grilling ideas? Check out the following recipes from my Grilling section:
My boyfriend’s not much of a cook. That’s not to say he’s not a good cook- its just that he very rarely takes to the kitchen (to be fair, there’s a lot of good takeout around here). Which is a shame, because sometimes he has absolutely amazing ideas. In this instance, his idea was so good I had to put it into practice myself!
What was this great culinary hypothesis, you ask? Well, let me start out by saying we both are pretty nuts about bacon. Bacon in sandwiches, bacon crumbles on potatoes, bacon on its own (my personal favorite). We decided we wanted to make burgers over the weekend- and as expected, we knew we wanted bacon as a crispy, crunchy, salty topping.
But have you ever taken a big bite of a burger with bacon on it, only to have the bacon slide out between the buns? It’s basically the most disappointing feeling, ever. So my boyfriend suggested, “Why don’t we put the bacon IN the burger?”
In the burger? IN THE BURGER? YES. Double yes. So much yes. Read on and have your carnivorous life be changed forever…
8 strips good, meaty bacon (I used Applegate all-natural Sunday bacon because it’s really thick and delicious)
1 tsp dried oregano, or other favorite spice
1 tsp kosher salt
1-2 tbsp barbecue sauce
6 english muffins
Toppings (all optional):
Your favorite sliced cheese
Chop the bacon into small, ¼ inch pieces. In a pan over medium heat, cook until nice and crispy, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and let cool while you assemble the rest of the burgers.
In a large bowl, using your hands (or a potato masher if you’re squeamish) combine the ground beef, oregano, salt, egg and barbecue sauce. Add bacon and combine once more. Divide the mixture into 6 patties. I also use my finger to make a shallow hole in the center of one side, to allow the burger to cook evenly throughout. This and the preceding steps can be done ahead if you want to prep for a party and not have to make the patties then and there.
When you’re ready to grill, heat the barbecue over medium-high heat. Add the burgers and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side. This will vary depending on the size and thickness of your burgers.
PLEASE resist the urge to squeeze down the burgers with your turner/spatula- you will be squeezing out the life and juiciness of those burgers. Just let them sit, develop a beautiful crust and texture on the outside, then flip and repeat. You may also want to close the grill during cooking to allow heat to reach the burger from all sides. If you’re cooking indoors, use a lid to cover the pan you’re using during cooking. I also use the time after the first flip to toast up my English muffins on the top rack of the grill, but that’s a personal preference!
When burgers are done, serve on your English muffins (toasted or otherwise) and garnish with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
I served these along side a scoop of my Grilled Corn Salad, but you could eat them with fries, chips, or more bacon. The possibilities are ENDLESS I tell you!
Have I mentioned how much I love summer yet? Yes? OK. Because I do. The fresh flavors, the ability to get out and grill, and all the delicious produce- not to mention the sunshine and warm weather- what’s not to love?
Believe it or not, I have never made my own corn on the cob before. For some reason I believed it was going to be more difficult than it actually was – and when you grill it, you don’t even have to boil beforehand! Just let the foil do the work in steaming and plumping up the kernels.
This salad is a mess of textures, colors, and flavors. A beautiful mess, to be sure! By cutting all the vegetables into similar-size pieces, you create a consistency to the salad that allows for individual textures and tastes to stand out. The crunch of the peppers, the cool freshness of the cucumbers, the sweetness of the corn that plays a perfect counterpoint to the slight bitterness of the red onion. I also really love the dill in the lemony dressing- however, if dill’s not your thing, feel free to use basil, cilantro, parsley, or any other herb that gets you going.
Heat up your grill to medium-high. Brush each ear with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Wrap each ear of corn in a square piece of aluminum foil, twisting the ends to seal.
Place the wrapped corn on the grill, and cook for 15 minutes, turning every so often with tongs. The corn will steam in the foil and get delicious. Remove ears from the foil, and place directly on the grill. Cook for another 5 minutes, turning once or twice to get the nice grill marks on each side. Remove to a plate to cool slightly while we make the rest of the salad.
Combine the red onion, bell pepper, and cucumber in your serving bowl.
Working with one ear of corn at a time, hold by the thick end, place the thinner end at the bottom of a bowl, and using a sharp knife start slicing down the sides of the ear to remove the kernels. Repeat on the second ear of corn. Transfer corn to the bowl with the red onion, pepper and cucumber.
In a small bowl, combine the dill, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Whisk in the olive oil. Pour dressing over the vegetables, toss and serve!
Happy Monday! I had a wonderful weekend hanging out with my family all weekend- my grandmother is in town for her birthday on Tuesday, and my beautiful cousin Daniela had her bridal shower thrown for her yesterday. It’s always nice to hang with family, especially when there’s delicious food to be had!
Everything about this salad screams summer to me- the light, fragrant dressing, the delicious bite of the zucchini, the smoky char of the grill marks, and the freshness of the herbs. This a great, super-quick side to make for any summer barbecue or dinner.
2 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise into thin strips or ribbons
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus leaves for garnish
4-5 large basil leaves, finely chopped
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Heat your grill to high heat. Brush the zucchini ribbons on both sides with canola oil; season with salt and pepper to taste. Using tongs to carefully place the ribbons on the grill, let cook for just about 1 minute on each side (until slightly charred and wilted), then remove them to a platter.
In a small bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard, lemon juice, lemon zest, and parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste. Slowly, whisk in the olive oil until the dressing takes on an almost creamy texture (this is called emulsification).
Pour or drizzle the dressing over the grilled zucchini and toss lightly. Let the zucchini marinate for 15 minutes at room temperature. Serve and enjoy!
I adapted this recipe from Bobby Flay– but his suggestions of adding some shaved Pecorino or toasted pine nuts would also be great here! We ate this salad alongside an absolutely delicious roast turkey breast served with a cilantro lime sauce. Yum!
For some reason, I always thought fish tacos were too difficult to make at home. I love tacos, and I love grilled fish, but it never occurred to me to try making these on my own! Turns out, they are dead simple, quick to make, and yep, you guessed it… total noms. Continue reading →