Skewer for The Cure

If you are looking for some tasty food and want to support a great cause, I hope to see you at #skewerforthecure at JL's Home Hardware this Wednesday! Local restaurants will be serving up delicious recipes and I get to be a judge to see who has the best dish. Wear your ugliest tie for a chance to win. A great family event all for $5 to support Prostate Cancer Canada. Hope to see you there!
Today on CTV News at Noon I brought some skewers with me to grill up so you can enjoy some easy fun cooking at home this week too!

Grilled Polenta, Tomato and Pepper Skewers

Enjoy these skewers with drinks on the back deck with friends. Look for premade polenta tubes in grocery stores in the International aisle. A drizzle of balsamic glaze is a perfect sweet touch to this appetizer combination.

Half a log (1 lb/454 g) polenta
1 pint grape tomatoes
2 orange or green peppers, cubed
3 tbsp (45 mL) extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp (15 mL) sherry vinegar
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
Pinch fresh ground black pepper
1/3 cup (75 mL) crumbled blue cheese (optional) 
Balsamic glaze

Cut polenta into 40 small chunks and place in a bowl. Add tomatoes and peppers.

Stir together oil, basil, garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour over polenta, tomatoes and peppers and toss gently to coat.

Skewer polenta, tomatoes and peppers onto 10-8 inch (20 cm) skewers, reserving any oil mixture in bowl.

Place skewers on greased grill over medium heat for about 10 minutes, turning once or until lightly charred. Remove to serving platter and sprinkle with blue cheese, if using.

Drizzle with balsamic glaze to serve.

Yields 10 skewers

Grilled Pork Kabobs

The spice is so flavourful; you will want to marinate all your meats in it! Make ahead is do-able by making the spice mixture ahead or simply making all ahead and marinating the pork the night before. Pork is very popular throughout Spain.

1 tsp (5 mL) coriander seeds
1 tsp (5 mL) paprika
1 tsp (5 mL) cumin seeds
½ tsp (2 mL) dried thyme
¼ tsp (1 mL) red pepper flakes
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
¼ tsp (1 mL) pepper
¼ cup (60 mL) olive oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp (10 mL) mild curry paste
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh parsley
1 lb (454 g) lean boneless Ontario pork loin,cubed

In dry skillet, over medium heat, toast coriander, paprika, cumin, thyme and red pepper flakes for about 30 seconds or until hot and fragrant. Transfer to spice grinder; grind to make fine powder. Pour into large bowl. Add salt and pepper. (Can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 1 week.)

Whisk together oil, lemon juice, garlic, curry paste and parsley. Pour into spice mixture, whisking vigorously to combine. Add pork to marinade and toss to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours, stirring occasionally.

Thread pork onto skewers; place on greased grill over medium-high heat. Close lid and cook for about 12 minutes, turning once, or until hint of pink remains. Baste with marinade up to 5 minutes before cooking ends. 

Makes 6 servings.

Sausage Kabobs

No matter what your favourite sausage is, these kebabs are easy to put together and make a great weeknight meal. The colour and flavour of the zucchini and tomatoes add juiciness and flavour to the sausage. You can slide everything off the skewer and enjoy it with the toasted bread. 

1 sprig fresh rosemary
½ cup (125 mL) extra virgin olive oil
4 fresh sausages (about 1 lb/500 g)
1 cup (250 mL) cherry tomatoes
1 zucchini, cut into ½-inch (1-cm) chunks
2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh Italian parsley
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper
6 slices Italian bread

Remove leaves from rosemary and place in a small saucepan. Add oil to the saucepan and heat oil over medium-low heat until rosemary begins to become fragrant and lose colour. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice each sausage into 6 pieces each. Skewer onto metal or soaked wooden skewers, alternating with zucchini and cherry tomatoes; set aside.

Remove rosemary leaves from oil and add parsley, garlic, salt and pepper to oil. Reserve half of the oil. Place kabobs on a greased grill over medium-high heat for about 12 minutes, basting with oil and turning occasionally until no longer pink inside and vegetables are golden.

Brush bread slices with remaining oil and grill, turning once, for about 4 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Serve with kabobs.

Makes 4 servings.

Sausage Option: Try the huge variety of sausages at your local market such as turkey,  honey garlic, sweet or hot Italian.  One of these will surely be a winner at your house.

Helpful Hint
Soak wooden skewers in warm water in shallow dish for about 30 minutes before using. Soaking helps prevent flare-ups of the skewers.

Fruit Kebab with Maple Cinnamon Yogurt Dip

A kid and adult favourite to serve up for summer get togethers or after dinner fun. These snack size fruit kebabs are perfect to enjoy with a creamy yogurt dip. Think colour and fresh summer fruit and change up the combinations each time you make them

8 strawberries, halved
2 peaches or nectarines or 3 plums, sliced into 8 wedges each
2 bananas, peeled and each cut into 8 pieces
Yogurt Dip:
250 mL (1 cup) plain 0% Greek yogurt
30 mL (2 tbsp) pure maple syrup
2 mL (1/2 tsp) cinnamon 

1. Pierce fruit onto small skewers alternating fruit.

2. Yogurt dip: In a bowl, whisk together yogurt, maple syrup and cinnamon. Serve with fruit skewers.

Makes 8 skewers.

Tip: Make the dip ahead and refrigerate until ready to use. Change up your fruit and use seasonal fresh fruit with the dip for a different skewer every time.


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