Saturday, September 6, 2008
First Thursday: A Barage of Barbequed Brochettes
I am a sucker for those 5 dollar cookbooks that clutter the entry way of Borders and Barnes and Nobles. I know that most of these books are to quality cookbooks as New York street-sale Prada knock-off are to real Prada purses. But, hell, I own my fair-share of designer knock-offs too. Many years ago, I made one such purchase 1000 Vegetarian Recipes. Somehow in my quick thumbing of the tome I didn’t notice that which became apparent when I came home—of the 1000 recipes only 1/5 are distinct recipes. Disgusted, I have since used the book to press flowers and the like.
But, with grilling as the topic of TNS First Thursdays, I went back to the book. It offers 60 vegetarian barbeque recipes of which 16 are basically vegetable or fruit brochettes. (Most of the rest are grilled vegetables without the skewer.) At this point, I should confess that we don’t have a grill; a tiny grill cast iron skillet (too small for brochettes), but no grill. Since I have no grill, I thought focusing on skewers would a nice evocation of barbeque-ness.
With so many options, 1000 vegetarian recipes after all, I chose “Bean Curd Skewers” as the main. Basically, veggies and tofu are marinated in thyme, rosemary and garlic and then grilled. I parbaked them and then put them on a grill pan and then onto skewers. The results were as I expected; good and exactly as they would have been had I chosen not to use the recipe.
Mixed fruit skewers with peaches and pluots would be dessert. The recipe suggested honey and Cointreau. Neither is baby-friendly, so I used agave nectar and no alcohol. (No, I am not that sort of mom.) As with above, my grill pan cooked these up.
After which, I could no longer bear the book and I turned to another book that has languished on my shelf. After the TNS thing started, I have a feeling that my cookbooks have finally felt the joy of being appreciated. I imagine that when I am at work they bicker amongst themselves about who will be chosen this month. Alright, I have a wild imagination.
Anyway, for the appetizer and side dish, I went with Essentials of Grilling by Williams-Sonoma. I am somewhat skeptical of the Williams-Sonoma books for their candy-coated mass-production. But, we got the book as a gift and I had never had the heart to return it. This book seems to hold an opposite stance on skewers; apparently in Sonoma they ain’t classy. But, since I had a nice little theme going I couldn’t very well make unskewered food. So, I made the grilled potato salad (sans bacon) and then skewered it up. Finally, the piece de resistance--Grape Leaf Wrapped Camembert with Pesto. I used a portion of my wedge and made skewers (I love to beat a joke to death) and then made a larger one for the family. Delicious even if it doesn't look so in the picture.
I should mention at this point, skewers are not baby friendly. I ended up de-skewering things, but to the toddler's dismay. After a small fit, Belle only ate the cheese and the grilled fruit. Everything else was not to her taste. Hey, you can't win them all.