Thursday, June 19, 2008
Posted by Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)
When three generations of women in one family came together for a cooking class to celebrate the birthday of 14-year-old Brianna, they let her choose the menu.
Brianna chose "Skewer It!", an entire appetizers-to-dessert menu of food on a stick.
Everything looks fancier on a skewer, and this meal was all about presentation and playing with your food. Skewered food is the ultimate party fare.
Bamboo skewers are easy to find, either in the grocery store, an Asian market, or online, and come in lengths from 6 to 14 inches. Most are round, but some are flat and wide -- great for shish kabob, shrimp, or anything that is apt to spin on a round skewer. If you're cooking food on the skewers, soak the bamboo skewers for 30 minutes or more in a bowl of water, until the moment you're ready to cook.
For Brianna's menu, we used skewers as serving utensils, so we didn't need to presoak them.
Our party featured dishes with mix-and-match dips. We didn't make shrimp, because one of the participants was allergic, but I'd definitely do some steamed or grilled shrimp (instead of the Thai chicken balls) with this menu:
Caprese skewers with roasted red pepper pesto
Teriyaki chicken chunks with spicy peanut dipping sauce
Thai chicken balls, with cilantro and sweet chili sauce
Veggie skewers with smoky black bean dip
Chipotle barbecue meatballs
Honeydew, mint and kiwi skewers with lime-yogurt dipping sauce
Mini ice cream sandwiches (rolled in cocoa powder) on skewers
All of the skewers were a big hit with Brianna and her family, but one of the favorites was the caprese skewers, named after the mozzarella, tomato and basil salad so popular in Italy.
CAPRESE SKEWERS WITH ROASTED RED PEPPER DIP
The pesto is a great dip for any veggie skewers; make extra to use as a pasta sauce. Makes 24 skewers.
For the pesto:
1 cup roasted red peppers (good quality store-bought OK)
1/2 cup firmly packed fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
24 bocconcini (small mozzarella balls), in the cheese section of your supermarket
24 cherry or grape tomatoes
24 basil leaves
24 pitted kalamata olives
On a small skewer, thread an olive, tomato, basil leaf and cheese. Dip in red pepper pesto.
Here's Brianna with the dessert skewers she made: confetti kabobs (frozen marshmallows dipped in melted chocolate, and rolled in colored sprinkles), and mini ice cream sandwiches (chunks of ice cream sandwich, rolled in cocoa powder).
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This Post was written by Lydia from The Perfect Pantry.