Just because summer is officially over, doesn’t mean you need to stop grilling.
Ditch the burgers and hot dogs and go for food on a stick. Shish kebabs (marinated chunks of meat and vegetables on a skewer) are fun and look great. It takes a little time to thread foods on the skewers, but that’s all the work they need.
Once threaded, marinate the kebabs for several hours or brush with a little olive oil and sprinkle with favorite seasonings before grilling.
You can also create your own kebab assembly line and let your guests skewer their own. Set out pre-marinated chunks of meat, poultry and vegetables in separate containers to avoid cross-contamination and wooden skewers that have been soaked in water (this helps prevent them from burning). Also, be sure to have a way for guests to wash their hands.
Making kebabs this way recently solved an issue at a gathering where one of the guests wanted a kebab with only chicken and pineapple.Mind the kebab element’s cooking times
Keep in mind that the meat and veggies take different times to cook. What can end up happening, for example, is that when the beef cubes are cooked to the desired degree of doneness (I prefer medium-rare), the vegetables are still too crunchy. Or by the time the chicken is cooked thoroughly, the vegetables wind up overcooked.
But there are steps you can take to help ensure everything is cooked how you like it. One way is to cut meat and vegetables in uniform pieces. Another way is to thread all the meat on skewers and all the vegetables on others, especially tomatoes. This way, you can put the foods on according to the time they need to cook and how they should be cooked.
When I see cherry tomatoes already threaded on skewers with meats, I just cringe. It takes just minutes for them to overcook and fall off.
Once everything is grilled, remove from the skewers and arrange on a platter for a nice presentation.