June 03, 2007

The Grilling Report.

Week Two of The Kabob Project. The thing that both A the H and I noticed this week was how much pleasure we derived from eating last week's leftover kabobs. He heated his back up, but I ate mine cold over at work on Tuesday night in Culver City (20 miles away—but 45 minutes to an hour to get out there, given L.A. traffic).

Even unheated, rare grilled steak and grilled veggies with charred edges were great eating on the other side of town, particularly when washed down with a luscious ripe peach.

So back to the grill again, this weekend. Saturday night we had turkey steaks. I would have bought chicken breasts, but who has time to pound them down to the right thinness for grilling? [Insert joke here.] The turkey was cheaper, and it was easier to freeze the extras for next weekend. A little Asian-style marinade, rice, and a salad—and dinner was done. I boiled the marinade to use again as a sauce; I'm thrifty that way.

Tonight I continued with the kabobs, but I got a thinner type of steak, rather than the Top Sirloin my local market uses on its pre-assembled kabobs (the husband likes his meat well-done, which doesn't really happen when the meat chunks are the size of small aircraft). The unit price was acceptable-but-not-great; however, I figured being able to freeze the last few small steaks meant I'd get at least three meals/six servings out of that package. Not bad.

This was beef loin tri-tip, and thin enough that I knew I could cut it into tiny chunks, so the first few kabobs to make it onto the grill would definitely be well-done, in accordance with husbandly preferences. I used Spanish onions, instead of the red onions the market employed last weekend, and in addition to green bell pepper I added some red bell pepper. I also threw in some mushrooms. The last few skewers were only peppers/mushrooms, and spent much less time over the fire than the meat/onion kabobs had.

Most of all, I decided that all these flavors would probably be just fine on their own, and I forewent a marinade—just threw the suckers over the fire. We ate them with small amounts of salt and pepper, and a butter lettuce salad with cherry tomatoes on the side. We drank Trader Joe's blueberry soda; it was truly a royal meal. And not a bad belated anniversary celebration, considering we were able to fit it into our budget constraints and our respective diets.

Next, week, though, the plot thickens: we're going to add pineapple, and go Polynesian. (But, no: no wooden skewers. I'm not going to soak those suckers for 30 minutes before dinner. Metal is fine for us. I might get kabob baskets for the veggies, though, depending on what the casualty rates are there-among.)

But for Polynesian, I'll definitely want to marinade the kabobs. Suggestions?

And, of course, I will create a dessert using grilled peaches at some point this summer. After all, grilled desserts are the Final Frontier on my balcony.

Posted by Attila Girl at June 3, 2007 11:09 PM | TrackBack

Polynesian marinade? Pineapple juice(Dole), peanut oil, teriyaki or soy sauce, fresh ginger, crushed garlic. Add a touch of roasted sesame seed oil, if you wish, and ground pepper and onion powder. Marinate for 1-2 hours, keeping in mind the pineapple enzymes tenderize and start "cooking the meat. Keep refrigerated while doing this.

The pineapple juice and oil of your choice makes it authentic. The rest can be played with. Pork tenderloin would be a good choice here. If you are worried about the grilling time and pork, you can finish off in a skillet on the stove (or grill). If you do that, I suggest adding a little corn starch to the kabobs while being marinated. Simmer a few minutes in a little chicken stock.

Posted by: Darrell at June 4, 2007 09:16 PM

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