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.




Anonymous said...

I loved this post! Your intro was hysterical as well as the rest of the commentary, the photos were great, you reminded me what fun it is to present with skewers...and I got a 'heads up' about First Thursdays. Thanks!

Alicia Foodycat said...

I love the grape-leaf wrapped camembert idea! Yum.

glamah16 said...

I think Belle may have been rebelling because you took apart her skewer. You know they think they are big people.I myself would have enjoyed all the combos. I like that grape leaf wrapped camemebert.

Kajal@aapplemint said...

all those skewers make want to warm up my grill too :) Honestly, i also have a habit of picking up these cheapo doorway books ! its a habit i cannot control. I just like leafing thru them !!

eatingclubvancouver_js said...

You've been tagged!

OhioMom said...

I love the looks of these, I don't have a grill either but I do have a grill pan that I use. The fruit and cheese are my fav!

Unknown said...

Wonderful sticks and they looks so gorgeous.

Maggie said...

The grape leaf Camembert sounds really good. I loved the meme with you and your husband answering too.

maybelles mom said...

Joan Nova (culinista): thanks and do try to do First Thursdays.

Foodycat: it was yum.

glamah16: Ah, yes, I think you are right. 2 year olds are fairly independent and determined.

Kate / Kajal: glad to hear I am not alone.

[eatingclub] vancouver || js: duly noted.

OhioMom: definitely do the fruit and cheese!

Pearlsofeast: thanks.

Maggie: it was delicious. I wonder if it would be good with vegan cheese.