Monday, March 21, 2011

Salami Skewers, Roasted Corn Crostini and Shrimp Kebabs for the Porch Drinkers

I have these two friends.  I mean...I have MORE than two friends (or at least I like to think so!), but two in particular that have a special place in my heart.  This is because they are part of a 3-person wine club (of course I am the third...have you been READING this blog??) called the Porch Drinkers.  This name is a bit curious, because I can't remember the last time we actually drank wine on a porch, but its March and its been pretty cold lately, so I guess its more like the kitchen drinkers.

Anyway, we always mean to get together more often than we do, but you know, we are all very busy and VERY important, so sometimes we'll go a month or so between get-togethers.  This is not a good idea if you're planning on getting enough sleep and feeling tip-top the next morning.  We have so much to catch up on, so often times our little "happy hours" last until midnight and then we have to calls the hubbies to come pick us up.  And we do have food at these little shin-digs, but the focus is always a little more on the wine and a lot more on the gossip, so sometimes we forget to eat enough.  And I don't know about the other two, but I always find myself over-compensating the next day and spend the better part of my work day dreaming of cheeseburgers.

The latest meeting of our little wine club took place at my house and I spent an inordinate amount of time planning the menu.  I had found an old copy of Rachael Ray's magazine under my bed and they had 50 ideas for grilling food on a stick!  And we all know how much I love food on a stick.  When I ran across the idea for fig and salami skewers, I was heck-bent on making them and they were even better than I imagined.  I even let my husband stay to eat before he was banished to his brother's house for the evening.  No men allowed in the wine club (except to drive us around).  Enjoy!!

Fig and Salami Skewers
Source: Rachael Ray

12 Slices Salami (Genoa works well)
Fig Preserves
Crumbled Goat Cheese
Garlic Powder
Italian Seasoning
4 metal skewers

Heat grill to medium high.

Lay the salami slices flat on a cutting board and spread with a thin layer of fig preserves, stopping about 1/2 an inch from the edge.  Sprinkle about a teaspoon of crumbled goat cheese on top of the fig preserves, and then sprinkle with garlic powder and Italian seasoning (just eyeball it).  Fold the salami in half and then half again, so its in a fan shape.  Then thread the top of the folded salami through the skewers to secure.

Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Cool and serve.

Corn and Goat Cheese Crostini
Source: Adapted from One Hungry Mama

olive oil, to brush on bread and drizzle on cheese
1/2 loaf Italian Baguette
3 tbsp butter
1/2 c shallots, finely chopped
3 ears fresh corn, kernels cut from the cob
1/4 cup soft goat cheese
salt & pepper, to taste
basil or chives, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the meantime, lightly brush top side of bread slices. Toast until light golden brown.

While bread toasts, heat butter in a large skillet. When sizzling, add shallots and saute until they just start to turn golden brown. Add corn and continue sauteing until corn is cooked through and you get a nice, light carmelization.

Spread goat cheese on bread—the exact amount depends on your taste. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Top with corn and shallot saute. Garnish with fresh herbs

Shrimp, Veggie and Pineapple Kebabs
Source: I threw some random stuff into a plastic bag for a marinade, but I'm sure its similar to 1000 marinades out there....

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 zucchini
1 large green pepper
2 cups pineapple, cut into chunks
Soy sauce
Red wine vinegar
Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons minced garlic
few shakes of sesame oil
Montreal steak seasoning
bit of rice wine vinegar

Mix all ingredients starting with the soy sauce in a large plastic bag.  Add shrimp and marinate in fridge for 4-6 hours.

Heat grill to medium high.

Thread shrimp on skewers, alternating with the veggies and pineapple.  Grill for 4-5 minutes on each side or until done.

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