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It's summer -- well, almost -- and that means it's time to start grilling. Or, if you're like me, continue grilling! Our grill does its duty year round at my house -- even if that means firing it up in the darkness of night while wind, snow and any other of the millions of varieties of precipitation fall on me. Of course, summer means that we're far more likely to enjoy nicer weather and sunny skies while we put our favorite foods to flame.
Since grilling is an oft-covered topic in this publication, I thought it might be nice to cover a subject that might end up overlooked: appetizers. Why shouldn't we take advantage of the grill when it comes to appetizers? Using the grill makes most of these fast and easy with little or no cleanup. What more could you ask for? In fact, you might want to add some of your favorite dips and dippers and make it an appetizer party on your deck!
As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!
8 oz. can pineapple chunks -- drained, juice reserved
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. orange juice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic -- minced
2 T. olive oil
Using long metal skewers -- or bamboo ones that have been soaked in water -- thread the chicken, vegetables and pineapple on in an order that places the chicken between vegetables. Set aside in a large pan.
Combine the remaining ingredients in a jar. Seal and shake vigorously to mix. Pour the marinade over the skewers and refrigerate for 30 minutes -- turning the skewers once halfway through.
Prepare the grill and grill the kebobs for about 20 minutes -- turning them once halfway through. Serve on the skewers or place all of the grilled items together in a large bowl.
Yields: 6-8 servings
Preparation Time: 30 minutes, plus marinating time
While I've been known to make these delicious salads into a main course with bread and a glass of wine, you can also arrange the ingredients on lettuce leaves and pass them around. Just remember the napkins!
1 lb. large shrimp -- peeled and devined
2 tsp. chili powder
1 T. olive oil
1/2 c. corn kernels
2 T. diced red onion
1/2 c. black beans -- rinsed and drained
2 T. sliced green onion
1 large tomato -- diced
2 T. chili oil
1/4 c. lime juice
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 T. rice vinegar
12 oz. baby spinach leaves
Combine the shrimp, chili powder and olive oil. Prepare a grill and grill over medium heat until cooked -- about 5 minutes -- turning once halfway through.
Meanwhile, combine all of the vegetables, except the spinach leaves, in a bowl. Add the chili oil, lime juice, salt and vinegar and toss to coat. Place a bed of spinach leaves on a plate and arrange the shrimp and vegetable medley over it. If desired, serve this salad over a toasted pita round for a main dish meal.
Yields: 8 appetizer servings or 4 main dish servings