Sunday, July 20, 2008

the BBQ issue

Summers and BBQs. The combination seems like such a fun idea. And, who wants to be inside cooking on a beautiful warm evening, when you can be outside cooking? yes indeed.

Being such a lovely warm day yesterday, I decided to rekindle my grilling skills and have our friends Kellen and Jamie over for a BBQ dinner. Thinking of past experiences with our coal fire BBQ, I decided not to use it for our entire dinner, just the vegetable kabobs. smart idea.

Overall, I'd give myself a B+ for the effort and results. But, honestly, I'm going to pick up a grill pan for the next time I want kabobs, grilled veggies, shrimp skewers, veggie burgers, or well, you get the idea. I think the main point is enjoying eating your dinner outside with friends and family.

The dinner was good. I marinated chopped zucchini, onion, asparagus, yellow peppers and cherry tomatoes in a chili-lime marinade for two hours and skewered just before putting them on the grill. We had vegetable kabobs with basmati rice, corn cobs and date relish. Out of everything, the date relish was by far the hit of the evening. It even won over the fresh local corn.

This recipe for is straight from the latest issue of Bon Appetit (August 2008) and is delicious. Simple to make, and will taste great for a few days.

Date Relish
makes ~2 cups
8 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
2/3 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
6 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp grated lemon peel
2 tsp minced seeded deveined habanero chili (from 1 chili)

Combine all ingredients except habanero chili in medium bowl. Add the chili in a little at a time, to taste. Season relish to taste with salt. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Do yourself a favour: Protect your hands by wearing gloves while handling the chili.

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