By Claire Gallo
“I am so excited to share my recipe for shish kabob and this five minute summer carrot salad. This salad is amazing and the spices take it to the next level”
Summer is here! I could not be more excited. There are many reasons why I believe summer is the best season. I love spending time at the pool, planting a garden, and going to the golf course. Even just the thought of taking the dog for a walk without having to put on my coat, hat, hoodie, gloves, scarf, second hoodie, and snow pants puts me in a better mood.
However, I think the best part about summer is cooking outdoors. I love to grill! It doesn’t matter if you are using a charcoal or a gas grill; it’s just a fun and relaxing way to prepare a meal! My favorite day to cook outside is Father’s Day. I grew up on a farm 30 miles north of Detroit, so there is always work to do. After a day outside, it’s time for dinner and every year we have same thing; grilled shish kabobs. The whole family gets together. My dad has all the vegetables chopped up and the meat marinating. We all gather around the table to put everything on the skewers. Dad will get the grill going and my mom and I will make a salad. After a delicious meal, there are always leftovers to take home. My parents insist on it. It is the perfect day to spend with my dad.
I am so excited to share my recipe for shish kabob and this five minute summer carrot salad. This salad is amazing and the spices take it to the next level. Now, my recipe for the shish kabob takes a while, but it’s mostly inactive time spent marinating. I like to marinate it for eight hours (or overnight). I will be sharing two different ways of marinating with two different meats. I also like to use chicken breast, which can sometimes dry out on the grill. That is why I use a yogurt marinade. It will help seal in the moisture. When marinating anything, I like to use a resalable plastic bag. By moving the meat around in a plastic bag, you ensure that each piece gets the flavor it deserves. You can use these marinades for other cuts of meat but one thing is for certain, you must soak the wooden skewers in water before using. If you don’t, they will burn right off as they grill…trust me. I also like to keep my meat and vegetables separated. I know, I know, it looks so much prettier when they are mixed on the same skewer, but keeping them separate allows you to control how they cook. There are also endless possibilities when it comes to the vegetables and how you assemble them. I like to cut my vegetable into two inch cubes. However, if you want to get creative you can cut the squash into long strips and fold into accordion
Chicken Breast with Spiced Yogurt Marinade
3 chicken breast about 2 lbs. cut into 1 ½ inch. cubes
¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. lemon zest
1 tbsp. paprika
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground pepper
Place cubed chicken in a large sealable bag. Stir all marinade ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Pour marinade over chicken in bag. Seal the bag and refrigerate at least eight hours to overnight.
Pork Tenderloin with Sesame Soy Marinade
1 Pork Tenderloin about 2.5 lbs. cut into 1 ½ inch cubes
½ cup of Rice Vinegar
3 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
1 small clove of garlic minced
2 tbsp. fresh minced ginger
2 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. sesame oil
½ tsp ground pepper
Place cubed pork in a large sealable bag. Stir all marinade ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Pour marinade over pork in bag. Seal the bag and refrigerate at least eight hours to overnight.
Grilled Shish Kabob
Time: 30 minutes + 8 hours marinatine
2 Peppers chopped into 2 inch squares
1 Medium Red Onion chopped into 2 inch squares
1 Medium Sweet Onion chopped into 2 inch squares
2 Yellow Squash sliced ½ inch
1 Green zucchini sliced ½ inch.
½ lb. grape tomatoes
½ lb. mushrooms sliced 1 inch
1 cup sliced pineapple
1 Sweet Potato sliced ½ inch
1 cup olive oil for brushing
Marinated Meat (Recipe above)
Thread vegetables (and fruit if you use it) onto soaked wooden skewers, alternating as you go. Brush with olive oil. Remove meat from the marinade, shaking off access liquid. Discard marinade in bag. Thread pieces of meat onto separate wooden skewers.
Preheat outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil the grate. Place meat kabobs on grill so they sear about three minutes.
Rotate to other side and turn heat down to medium. Add vegetable skewers to grill. Rotate all skewers occasionally until meat is cooked through and vegetables are chard, about 15 minutes. Serve with Summer Carrot Salad, recipe below.
Summer Carrot Salad
Total Time: 5 minutes
1 clove garlic finely minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
¼ cup of lemon juice
½ lb. of carrots
¼ cup olive oil
3 tbsp. chopped cilantro
Salt & pepper to taste
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together garlic, cumin, coriander, and lemon juice. Peel carrots into long strips into medium mixing bowl. Add garlic lemon mixture to carrots. Then gradually pour in olive oil, tossing the carrots as you pour. Top with cilantro, salt, and pepper.
I would like to dedicate this article to my dad. My dad is a great cook and the hardest worker. He would do anything to make me smile and has not only taught me but shown me so many amazing things I can’t wait to spend Sunday with him and the rest of my family. We will be putting together the shish kabobs in my parent’s kitchen and talking about our flea market purchases. I wish everyone a wonderful weekend.
Enjoy the recipe, friends.