Cooking Week #5: The First Grilling of the Season

The summer season doesn’t really begin until you have your first chance to grill something.  This year we went the shish-kabob route, with speared veggies, salmon and chicken, in various flavors.  Mike brought a great grilled pear salad for a side dish, and we started the whole thing off with some cheese, bread, and two mayonnaise-based spreads, one with horseradish and the other made with cocktail sauce.  {UPDATED: Now with a recipe for the Berbere sauce for the grilled chicken!}

A nice crusty bread with some aged Monterey Jack cheese started off the evening.  I made some spreads from scratch – mayonnaise mixed with horseradish or cocktail sauce.

Mike brought a great pear salad; I’ll leave the details for that to him.

For the main dish, we went with grilled veggies and meat.  For the veggies, I cut up onions, red and orange peppers, mushrooms and zucchini into large chunks. I put them into a bowl, and added olive oil, salt, pepper, powdered onion and garlic, and Penzey‘s Pasta Sprinkle (a mix of basil, oregano, thyme and garlic).  Everything marinated for about an hour before I speared them and got them ready for the grill.

For the meat side of the meal, I cut up chicken breasts into large chunks, and marinated half of them in the same mix as the veggies.  For the other half, I marinated them in an Ethiopian Berbere sauce that I had previously made.  The recipe for the Berbere sauce is here.  The sauce is spicy with a bit of heat to it, and goes well on the grill, as it’s got an oil base.  Finally, salmon chunks were marinated in an asian-style glaze, made with a mix of peanut oil, soy sauce, black vinegar, hoisan sauce, and oyster sauce.  Everything was marinated for an hour or so before I skewered them, alternating pieces of chicken or fish with pieces of onions or peppers.

All in all, the first grilling of the summer came out quite well!

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