It’s become a bit of a joke to suggest that everything is better on a skewer. But sometimes that really is the case. And the instrument’s capability to hold food extends well beyond the usual shish kebabs, barbecued chicken and bell peppers. If it’s small, it can be grilled on a skewer. And with that in mind, here’s a list of ten different grilled skewer combinations you’ve probably never though about but absolutely have to try.
1. Asparagus & Bacon
Bacon is not the craze that it used to be, probably due to the fact that it’s a rather fatty slice of pork. But grilling strips of bacon is never a bad idea, popularity be damned. Wrapping those grilled strips around the usually healthy asparagus and stacking the result on a stick is arguably brilliant. This idea unites the vegetable lovers with the carnivorous, making it a great addition to any cookout. Serve the grilled skewer combinations with some lettuce and they’ll be ready to go!
2. Salmon and Cherry Tomatoes
Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, the salmon kebab combines chunks of grilled fish with cherry tomatoes for a juicy, chewy experience on a stick. This recipe can be done with both cubed salmon steak or folded smoked salmon pieces, in case the former is too dry for you. Although that dryness makes a nice contrast with the slick, rubbery tomatoes. This one is great for pescatarians and vegetable lovers alike so, next time you have anyone from those groups over, fire up those grills and get cooking!
3. Jerk Chicken & Roasted Peaches
Jerk chicken’s spiciness and tenderness is the perfect match for the peach’s sweetness and tanginess. And since jerk cooking requires (according to its most orthodox practitioners) a charcoal grill anyway, why not add a skewer to the process? Of course, this combination is not authentically Jamaican but it’s unique and flavorful enough to give it a go anywhere. It should be noted that some jerk chicken recipes recommend a side of coconut sauce so, if that’s interesting to you, have a bowl ready to add some extra flavor to your grilled skewer combinations.
4. Grilled Chicken and Bacon
This combination came out of a form of the Brazilian espetinho, or “little skewer.” Espetinho is extremely flexible but tends to be made with beef or chicken and sometimes intermixed with peppers or chorizo. This variation uses chicken wrapped in bacon strips and can be seasoned with salt, pepper, peppercorn and/or oregano. It’s a little basic but it’s worth a shot.
5. Negima Yakitori
Once again, this one is a little basic but it’s equally worth giving an attempt. Negima Yakatori is a Japanese variant on skewered food, combining grilled chicken and fresh scallions. Mixing them both together creates a taste that’s more savory as well as a mouthfeel that’s more crunchy than just the poultry alone. It’s a good way of getting a taste of Tokyo without leaving the comfort zone of the American taste pallet. For that, it is also a fantastic beginner course for those wanting to get into Japanese cuisine. There’s really no reason not to try this dish out so add it to the menu of your next gathering; it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser!
6. Sweet & Sour Meatballs with Peppers
Smaller meatballs like those referred to as “Swedish meatballs” work best with this combination as they can be easily skewered. Coating these in sweet-and-sour sauce and mixing them with bell peppers creates a nice, little sandwich on a stick, where the peppers stand in for bread and the meatballs stand in for filling. It’s perfect for popping in your mouth (or dragging it from the skewer), making it a great appetizer snack at your next special occasion. One of the yummiest grilled skewer combinations!
7. Steak and Potatoes on a Stick
If you want to go to a steakhouse but don’t want to leave your own house, skewer some steak pieces intermixed with miniature gold potatoes and put it on the grill. Most recipes use sirloin but don’t shy away from other cuts of meat. If you can afford it, tenderloin, rib eye or filet mignon cuts make good kebabs too.
8. Grilled Cheese Skewers
Grilled cheese is one of the most basic dishes to make but putting it on a stick makes it far more fun and far more interesting. Which bread and cheese you use is up to you. Crunchy breads like French bread and Ciabatta are popular. The cheese should be cubed and melted but not too much so that it doesn’t create a puddle on your grill. Do it right and you’ll have a fascinating variation on a classic sandwich. This is for sure one of the most delicious grilled skewer combinations!
9. Chicken and Waffle Skewers
Can this Southern classic really be skewered? Absolutely, if you do it right. This recipe is not usually grilled but on-the-grill fried chicken is possible and it works just as well as the off-the-grill kind. The waffles can be cut up into squares before being skewered but frozen toaster waffles can also be used, although this wouldn’t taste as good.
10. Tofu and Vegetable Skewers
Finally, we’ll end this list with a vegetarian option: the tofu and vegetable stick. The tofu part is rather self-explanatory but since there’s no meat on this skewer, the vegetable options can be vastly expanded. Among those you can use include but are not limited to zucchini, mushrooms, peppers, onions, corn and more. If you’re not into meat dishes, then this one on a stick is right for you!
So what do you think of this list? Are you planning to make any of these? Have you already made one of these and you have something to say about it? Leave your responses in the comments section below!
What other grilled skewer combinations can you think of? Let us know in the comments below!
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Hi! I'm Tyler and I'm a sophomore student at the University of Vermont. I'm an English major and I'm minoring in French and Linguistics. I'm particularly interested in reading, writing, philosophy and the natural world (although the Internet is somewhere I hang out often too).