Thursday, October 2, 2008

Rosemary kabobs

I saw the idea of using rosemary sprigs as kabob skewers in Taste of Home recently and decided to try it out. I have an abundant rosemary bush in my front yard (if any of you local readers want to try this for yourself, feel free to stop by and snip some off - I cringe at paying 5 bucks for a half dozen twigs at the grocery store) that provided me some nice sprigs. I chose ones that were a bit woodier and I snipped them at an angle so that the tips would be sufficiently sharp to pierce the food. Stripping the leaves is easy and fun. You simply grab them and pull against the direction they point. It takes about 1 second to skin a whole sprig.
The kabobs all ready to go on the grill....
...and the finished product. I think they turned out rather well. The most miraculous thing is that my kids ate their zucchini, peppers and potatoes WITHOUT COMPLAINT! I was so thrilled that we went out to Iceberg for shakes as a reward. I guess the adage that if you feed it to them enough times, they'll finally develop a taste for it is true. I was surprised that the rosemary flavor wasn't very prominent, and I think that in future batches I'll snip some of the stripped leaves up and add them to the marinade.
Here's my recipe:
8 rosemary sprigs, roughly 10-12 inches long, leaves stripped except the top 2 inches
4 medium new potatoes, quartered and boiled in salted water for 20 minutes
2 bell peppers, cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
1 small zuchini or 6 inches of a large one, cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
2 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch chunks
small roma tomatoes (I did 3 because that's what I had - I like them grilled, but Alan doesn't, so 3 was just right)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 t. kosher salt
1 T. raw sugar
several grinds of pepper
Whisk the marinade ingredients in a large bowl until the salt and sugar are dissolved, then stir in the vegetables and chicken until everything is well coated. Alternate veggies and chicken on the rosemary sprigs and either grill immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before grilling.
Suggested side dish - carrot basmati rice pilaf. The sweet/savory flavors go perfectly with the kabobs.
If you're not a fan of balsamic vinegar, I think this would be equally delicious with the juice and zest of a lemon, and in fact, that's the way I'll make it next time. I personally like how the balsamic vinegar carmelizes on the grill but I know it's a bit of an acquired taste.

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