It’s grilling season. For a gardener it is time to think about kabobs, grilled veggies and grilled fruit.
Corn is the most popular grilled vegetable. Remember to choose ears that are firm with bright green husks and slightly brown silks.
There are several ways to grill corn on the cob. I like to grill it in the husk. Please off all but enough layers to cover the cob. That would be two or three. Remove the silks and replace the remaining husk layers. Soak the cob about 15 minutes, shake off the water and grill over medium heat (350) turning over all sides until kernels start to turn a deep yellow and slightly blacken (about 10 to 15 minutes). Remove, peel and serve with your favorite butter and seasoning.
You can also add oil or butter before grilling but I think the flavor gets lost in the process. If you choose to butter beforehand, totally shuck the corn, place it on a sheet of aluminum foil, add butter and wrap. Grill as above.
Grilled corn also makes wonderful salads and salsas.
Kabobs are another favorite of mine. So many veggies work well alone or with meats. The important thing to remember with Kabobs is to cut the pieces close to the same size and soak any wooden skewers in water for about 30 minutes beforehand to prevent burning.
Cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and zucchini all taste great grilled on skewers. Add shrimp, chicken or beef if you desire.
Fruit can also be easily grilled. Brush sliced pineapple or watermelon lightly with oil and cook until seared.
You can also add chunks of pineapple to skewers for a tropical taste.
Here is one of my favorite kabob recipes!
Tropical Shrimp Kabobs over Coconut Rice
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup pineapple chunks, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
1/2 red and/or green bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 medium red onion cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. orange zest
1 cup rice
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 Tbsp. shredded baking coconut
Salt to taste
1/4 cup toasted coconut
Combine rice, coconut milk, water, coconut, oil and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Check about halfway through to see if you need to add a little more water since the coconut milk tends to thicken fast when cooking. Keep warm until skewers are grilled.
Make your glaze.
In a 1-quart saucepan, combine orange juice, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Continue boiling while stirring until sauce is reduced to about 1/2 the volume, approximately 10-12 minutes. Divide glaze into 2 equal portions. Reserve one portion as a condiment for cooked shrimp.
Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Spray grill lightly with cooking spray.
Thread skewer through thickest part of shrimp, alternate between tomato, pineapple and pepper and onion to fill skewer. Be careful not to overlap shrimp and vegetables.
Place on grill and cook about 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Brush with glaze during the last few minutes of cooking time and cook until shrimp are opaque. Discard leftover cooking glaze used for grilling.
Serve over rice or on the side. Sprinkle with orange zest and toasted coconut. Drizzle with reserved glaze if desired.