July 28, 2009

Kokopelli's Gone Kabob Krazy!!

Kabobs are a fun and colorful way to eat healthy! They can be easily assembled ahead of time and grilled to perfection in minutes. Kabobs are pieces of meat, vegetables and/or fruit threaded on skewers, then grilled. But…..Kokopelli would like to share some tips and tricks that he has found to making the best kabobs.

Wooden Skewers: Inexpensive and disposable, wooden skewers are available in a variety of lengths. One of their biggest advantages is that they don't absorb heat, meaning that they can go from grill to plate without fear of burning your guests. These skewers might ignite over a hot flame; to avoid this, simply presoak them in water for 30 minutes before use. If your recipe calls for marinating foods, you must still presoak skewers in water - especially since the oil in the marinade may further fuel the flames.

Metal Skewers: You might think it best to invest in a set of stainless steel, reusable skewers. Metal skewers are best for foods that take longer than 5 minutes to cook. If shopping for metal skewers, look for a set that has flat or square blades. Avoid blades that are round (cylindrical) — the food will twirl on the skewers making it difficult to turn.

  • Choose firm but mature vegetables for kabobs; cut them in pieces that are large enough to thread without breaking. Peppers should be seeded first, but not tomatoes.
  • Be sure to cut the meat, vegetables & fruit into equal-size pieces so they cook evenly.
  • If your kabob includes a vegetable that's slow to cook through, such as a potato or onion, you can partially cook the item in a microwave to get it started.
  • If using wooden skewers, be sure to soak skewers in water for 30 minutes before using to assemble kabobs to prevent them from burning on the grill.
  • If using metal skewers, treat skewers with a light coat of cooking spray before using to assemble kabobs. This makes the food easier to remove when cooked.
  • If using metal blades that are round, double-skewering will avoid the pieces twirling on the blades or falling into the grill. Rather than threading the pieces in their center on one skewer, use two skewers side-by-side to hold the food neatly in place.
  • If you are grilling foods that have a great variance in their cooking times (ex., pork and cherry tomatoes), don’t combine the foods on the same skewer.
  • Leave a little space between pieces so everything gets equally and thoroughly cooked. Don't overload skewers with food packed tightly together.
  • When grilling the kabobs, use long-handled grilling tongs to rotate the kabobs to ensure even cooking on all sides.


  • Be sure the grill is clean, hot, and well oiled so the food will release easily and not stick.
  • When grilling the kabobs, use long-handled grilling tongs to rotate the kabobs to ensure even cooking on all sides.
  • Grill skewers over medium to medium-low heat.


    The succulent recipes that we've selected are from "Arizona Cookbook". Permission to print granted by Golden West Publishers, 4113 N. Longview, Phoenix, AZ 85014.


    • 1 pound fresh PORK LINK SAUSAGES
    • 1/4 pound fresh whole MUSHROOMS (or one 4-ounce can, drained)
    • 1 large GREEN PEPPER
    • 8 whole white ONIONS
    • Sauce:
      • 1/4 cup bottled CHILI SAUCE
      • 1/4 cup canned APPLE SAUCE
      • 1 Tbsp. LEMON JUICE
      • 1 tsp. SUGAR
      • 1/4 tsp. CHILI POWDER
    Cook sausage links in skillet until brown (about 10 minutes). Drain on paper towel. Use whole, or cut in half. Cut green pepper into one-inch square pieces. Wash fresh mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. Trim stems from mushrooms.

    Thread sausage links, green pepper, mushrooms, tomatoes and onions alternately onto skewers and place on grill over hot coals. Baste with sauce. Cook 5 to 10 minutes, turning occasionally and continuing to baste with sauce.

    • 2 pounds boneless STEAK
    • 1/2 cup SOY SAUCE
    • 1/2 tsp. GINGER
    • 2 Tbsp. SALAD OIL
    • 1 Tbsp. SUGAR
    • 1 cup PINEAPPLE chunks, drained (or fresh pineapple chunks)
    • 1 basket CHERRY TOMATOES
    Cut meat into 1-inch cubes. Pierce meat with fork so marinade can penetrate. Combine soy sauce, ginger, salad oil and sugar. Pour over meat cubes. Allow to stand for at least 1 hour. Turn occasionally.

    Put meat on skewers, leaving space between pieces. Put pineapple chunks and tomatoes on other skewers. Broil meat over hot coals. When meat is turned, add skewers of pineapple and tomatoes to the grill. Brush skewers of food with marinade.