skewers: shrimp lobster, meat and veggies

You’ve heard it a hundred times before, but summer grilling season is in full swing! We tapped our chefs to share some cool skewer ideas that you can easily whip up on the grill at home. Enjoy several recipes, including a Lobster Boil Skewer from Shaw’s Crab House Chef Arnulfo Tellez stocked with lobster, potatoes, corn, sausage, and clams; a Korean-style chicken, veggie and fruit skewer with Asian pear, soy marinated mushrooms and yellow peppers from Chef Janet Kirker of Foodease and finally a Churrasco-style skewer of beef medallions with chimichurri salsa from Nacional 27 Chef Tim Hockett.

To prep any of these skewers, no matter how it’s stocked, Chef Tim Hockett from Nacional 27 recommends cutting your protein and veggies into small pieces and filling the skewers from end to end. Skewers 12 inches long are perfect for the grill. If using wooden skewers, soak them for 30 minutes in water before adding your ingredients.

seafood skewers

Now pick your protein. First on the grill, seafood.

Grilling seafood can be tricky. Chef Balodimas breaks down how to master seafood grilling:

Step One: Preheat your Grill
When grilling anything, especially seafood, preheat your grill on high (for gas, or for charcoal allow your coals to burn to a white ash) Preheating your grill helps to:

  • Caramelize the fish and provide those defined grill marks
  • Shorten the cook time which will decrease the odds of your fish becoming dry
  • Prevents your fish from sticking to the grill

Step Two: Remove Cooking Debris
It seems basic but it is very important to clean all prior cooking debris that are left from your previous grilling sessions.

Step Three: Allow your Fish to Temper
Let your fish temper at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes prior to seasoning and placing on the grill.

Step Four: Season your Seafood
Lightly oil both sides of your fish/seafood and season liberally with kosher salt. The oiling of the fish will help aid in not sticking. Use a non-stick spray and lightly coat the cooking grate on the grill too. Trying to achieve more of a smokey flavor? For a charcoal grill, soak woodchips in water for 30 minutes before placing them directly on your charcoal to enhance your fish’s flavor. For a gas grill, soak woodchips in water 30 minutes before placing them in a smoker box and directly on the cooking grate.

Step Five: Throw it on the Grill

  1. Place the fish skin-side down on the grill.
  2. Grill with your lid down.
  3. The fish will naturally release itself from the cooking grate once it is finished being grilled on that side. Do not agitate or try to move the fish if it has not released naturally – this goes for flipping your fish too, one flip, that’s it.
  4. General rule of thumb is eight minutes of cook time per inch of fish (total cook time, on medium-high heat).
  5. To flip your fish without damaging the skin, use a spatula. Tongs tend to damage the flesh of the fish.
  6. To maximize juiciness, allow your fish to rest for 3-5 minutes prior to eating/cutting.

Try this at home. Here is Chef Arnulfo Tellez from Shaw’s Crab House Lobster Boil Skewer Recipe.

In mood for red meat? Chef Hockett suggests marinating your beef in garlic, paprika, an acid (citrus or vinegar) and cayenne. Stick on some seasonal veggies from the Farmer’s Market, like peppers, mushrooms, grape tomatoes, onions or zucchini; all are great on the grill.

red meat skewers

Check out Chef Tim Hockett from Nacional 27’s recipe for Beef Medallions with Chimichurri Salsa. Full recipe here.

 

vegetarian skewers

Foodease Chef Janet Kirker shows us how to create a Korean-influenced skewer, full recipe here.

 

Shaw’s Lobster Boil Skewer

Serves: 4 skewers, 3 cups of Potato-Herb Salad, 1 cup Pickled Clam Vinaigrette, 8 quarts Court Bouillon, 18 ounces Garlic-Herb Butter

INGREDIENTS

For Potato-Herb Salad

  • 4 ounces poached, chilled & sliced marble potatoes (poached in court bouillon – see below)
  • 1 head frisee, core & dark green removed
  • 1 bunch parsley, leaves picked
  • 2 ounces mint, small leaves only (weight pre-picked)
  • 2 ounces basil, small leaves only (weight pre-picked)
  • 4 ounces watercress, large stems removed
  • ½ ounce tarragon, leaves only

For Pickled Clam Vinaigrette

  • 12ea- shucked top necks, chopped
  • 2 ounces champagne vinegar
  • 4 ounces olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon reserved clam liquor

For Court Bouillon 

  • 8 quarts water
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into half rings
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut on the bias
  • peel of 1 orange
  • peel of 1 lemon
  • 16 ounces white wine
  • 6 ounces kosher salt
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns

For Garlic-Herb Butter 

  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • ¼ bunch parsley, chiffonade
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For skewer

  • 4, 4-ounce lobster tails
  • 2 ears of corn, shucked & quartered
  • 8 ounces Andouille Sausage, cut in 1-ounce pieces

METHOD

For Potato-Herb Salad

  1. Poach potatoes in court bouillon until tender. Cool in the fridge for 10 minutes before handling.
  2. Slice potatoes in rounds, reserve for later use.
  3. Pick all herbs and frisee and place in ice water until needed to stay crisp.

For Pickled Clam Vinaigrette

  1. Shuck clams and reserve the liquor.
  2. Chop clams as finely as possible, cover with reserved clam juice and vinegar and let sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Add all other ingredients and mix well, reserve for later use.

For Court Bouillon

  1. Bring 8 quarts of water to a simmer in a large stockpot.
  2. Add the vegetables and salt, simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Add all other ingredients and simmer 5 minutes.

For Garlic-Herb Butter*

  1. In a large bowl mix all ingredients together until homogenized.
  2. Place in container and reserve for later use.

*Extra butter can be rolled in parchment paper and frozen for later use.

For skewer

  1. Par cook the corn in the court bouillon for 4-5 minutes.
  2. Par cook the lobster tails in the court bouillon for 3 minutes and immediately place in an ice bath to stop cooking.
  3. Cut lobster tail in half, and discard shell.
  4. On each skewer place 2 lobster halves, 2 pieces of corn, and 2 pieces of sausage.
  5. Grill over charcoal 4-5 minutes until the lobster is cooked through and the corn and sausage are warmed.
  6. Toss the potato-herb salad with the pickled clam vinaigrette and place on the top of an oval or rectangular platter.
  7. While the skewers are still hot off the grill, brush them with a little herb butter and place on the plate.
  8. Enjoy.

 

Nacional 27 Churrasco-Style Skewer with Chimichurri Beef Gaucho

INGREDIENTS

For the Chimichurri Salsa

  • Chimichurri Salsa
  • 2 bunch cilantro
  • ½ tablespoon ground cumin
  • ½ tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon champange vinegar
  • 3 tablesppons lime juice
  • ½ tablespoon salt

For the beef gaucho

  • 8 pieces of beef tenderloin medallions (3 ounces each)
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • kosher salt

METHOD

For the Chimichurri Salsa

  1. Place the cilantro, cumin, red pepper flakes, chipotle powder, champagne vinegar, and lime juice in the blender and begin to blend.
  2. Slowly add the olive oil.
  3. When finished, add the salt and reserve.

For the beef gaucho

  1. Cut the peppers and onion into 2-3 inch pieces.
  2. Place the beef medallions and vegetables on two 24-36 inch gaucho skewers, alternating meat and vegetables.
  3. Spoon some of the chimichurri onto the skewers and let them marinate for up to 12 hrs.
  4. Season them with salt and place them on the grill.
  5. Remove them when they have been cooked to the desired temperature and spoon some more chimichurri on top of them.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

 

Foodease’s Korean-Style Chicken Skewers

Serves: 8, 8-inch skewers 

INGREDIENTS

For the chicken skewer

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 ½ inch squares
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 ½ inch squares
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 ½ inch squares
  • 1 Asian pear, cored and cut into 1 ½ inch sections
  • 1 pound button mushrooms, cleaned and stemmed
  • Korean marinade for chicken (recipe follows)
  • soy-ginger marinade for vegetables (recipe follows)

For the Korean marinade

  • 1 cup Gochujang (Korean chili pepper paste)
  • ¹/3 cup Gochugaru (Korean chili pepper flake)
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ¹/3 cup sesame oil
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped ginger
  • 1 tablespoons fresh chopped garlic

For the soy-ginger marinade

  • ⅔ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped ginger

METHOD

To prepare the chicken skewer

  1. Marinate chicken breast pieces in about ½ cup of the Korean marinade for about 2 hours.
  2. Set aside remaining marinade to use as a dipping sauce.
  3. Marinate the mushrooms and Asian pear pieces in the soy-ginger marinade for 1-2 hours.
  4. Thread the chicken, peppers, mushrooms, and Asian pears onto wooden skewers that have been soaked in water for 15-30 minutes.
  5. Lightly and evenly season the skewer with salt and pepper.
  6. Prepare grill for medium-high heat.
  7. Clean and lightly oil the grates.
  8. Grill the skewers for approximately 7-10 minutes, turning to achieve grill marks on all sides.
  9. Serve skewers with remaining Korean marinade.

To prepare the Korean marinade

  1. Simply combine all ingredients and mix well.

To prepare the soy-ginger marinade

  1. Simply combine all ingredients and mix well.