Friday, 07 July 2017 14:20

Food on a Stick

Written by John Reardon
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Hello my Foodie Friends. Grilling in our backyards during the month of July is among my favorite summertime pastimes. One tool that can help those who are firing up in the backyard, is the bamboo skewer. Creating food on a stick offers the ability to be creative and to offer various food choices for your family and guests. Serving food on a stick is not only convenient, but it’s also fun! Foods to Make with Bamboo Skewers Shish kebabs on the grill. This is the obvious one, right? Spear your meat and veggies with the bamboo skewer (after you’ve soaked it). If you’re going to make shish kebabs with both meat and veggies, you must precook the meat so that you’re just heating it. Otherwise, by the time the meat is cooked, the veggies will be charcoal. Also, make sure the foods that take longer to cook (like onions and peppers) are cut into smaller pieces than the quick-cooking foods (like pineapple and cherry tomatoes) so that nothing burns. Oh, and I like to use marinated, pre-cooked meats. It makes the whole thing tastier. Fruit skewers. Just like above, you can put similarly sized chunks of fruit onto a skewer, chill, and serve. It’s even better if you serve a yogurt or cream cheese dip or chocolate fondue with them. Fresh veggie skewers. Whether you cook them or not, a skewer makes veggies infinitely more appealing to children. The novelty might get veggies into little tummies where they otherwise would not go. As with the fruit, if you serve a dip with them, they might go over better. Or, forget the kids and make grilled mushrooms to add to a steak. Dip foods in chocolate. Whether we’re dipping peanut butter balls, pretzels, or cheesecake bites into melted chocolate, we use skewers to hold them during the process. Poke holes in a cake. Bake a chocolate cake according to the package directions (any incarnation of chocolate will work – devil’s food, German chocolate, chocolate fudge, whatever). Allow it to cool for 5 minutes. Use a skewer to poke lots of holes in the hot cake in a grid, but try not to go the whole way through the bottom of the cake. One at a time, pour 3/4 cup of fudge topping, 3/4 cup of caramel topping, and 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk over the hot cake. (Let each soak in fully before adding the next.) Allow the cake to cool completely, and spread 8 ounces of Cool Whip over the cake. Top with crushed candy bars, Tips for Cooking Food with Bamboo Skewers Don’t forget to soak the skewers if you’re going to cook with them. Leave a little space between the foods so that the heat surrounds each piece. They will cook more evenly and faster. If you’re using foods that cook a lot faster than the rest (cherry tomatoes, asparagus, mushrooms, etc.), consider putting them on a separate skewer so they don’t get done too quickly. Even better (and especially if you’re going to take the foods off of the skewers for serving), keep one kind of food on each skewer. Do all of the pork on one, chicken on another, onions on a third, etc. There are so many innovative uses for a bamboo skewer for your culinary creations. You can even garnish drinks with fruits or olives on stick. At Compliments to the Chef in Saratoga Springs, we have various size bamboo skewers. Have fun. Let the aspiring little chefs help create unique and memorable food on a stick. Remember Foodie Friends, “Life Happens in the Kitchen” (or the backyard). Take care, John and Paula.
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