I’ve decided that a new recipe qualifies as a New-to-Me post. So, here’s the first one I’m sharing.
Zucchini is one of the vegetables that I’ve tried in an attempt to find new foods I’m willing to eat. However, I was never able to find a way to like zucchini. It went onto my list as a blech vegetable. Which disappointed me. I felt like if I could find a way to like broccoli that I should be able to find a way to like zucchini. Seems reasonable right? Well, it did to me. Then a series of zucchini events happened that had me rethinking the vegetable.
First, I ate out with coworkers one day and someone ordered fried zucchini as an appetizer. It was suggested I give them a try. Amazingly, I found them really tasty and ate my fair share of the appetizer. Then, I ate at one of my favorite chain restaurants in Baton Rouge: Logan’s Roadhouse. I like their steaks. On a whim, I ordered the grilled vegetable skewers to see what they were like. When my meal arrived, I realized I really should have asked what was on the skewer. First, there were fresh tomatos. While I eat many a tomato product with gusto, I’m not a fan of wedges (or slices) of fresh tomato. Then there were mushrooms. Sorry, mushrooms aren’t anything I’m trying to like. Those are still on the do not like, would prefer not to have list. That left me with red onion and zucchini on the skewer. Since the fried zucchini experience was better than anticipated, I thought I’d try out zucchini grilled. It was pretty good. Still very crisp, yet with a nice grilled flavor. I enjoyed them quite well with the red onion.
I wanted to recreate this at home, but there was one catch to the whole thing. I don’t own a grill. I know. It boggles the mind that I live in South Louisiana and don’t own a grill. It’s okay. I don’t cook much seafood either. There is alot of work to grilling and to cooking seafood. Both of which I’m not overly adept at doing. For the amount of food I ruin (and money I waste trying to do so), I am just as content to either what for a family function that involves these or to go to a restaurant to satisfy a craving. Especially when I have a restaurant like T.J. Ribs in my neck of the woods.
Without a grill, I wasn’ts sure what I was going to do. Then, I remembered the much loved but little used grill pan with panini press I have in a cabinet. I love that pan. It makes great sandwiches. I just don’t use it too often. Now while these skewers might not have the that wonderful smoky grilled flavor, in all they tasted pretty darn good.
Bamboo skewers were soaked in water for an hour in preparation. I’ve read before that you should soak them in water so they don’t burn during the cooking process. I don’t know if that is only for grilling, but I decided to go ahead and do that for my little skewers. As you can plainly see, I soaked too many. Ah well, live and learn.
My skewers were really simple: zucchini & red onion. That’s it. Nothing else fancy on them. I would tell you that it was my minimalist plan to have such skewers as these, but in reality, I couldn’t figure out another vegetable to stick on there.
Each side of the skewers were given a light brushing of olive oil. Not too heavy. Just enough so that things didn’t stick to the grill pan.
Into the heated pan they went. I also coated the pan with a light covering of non-stick spray to help ensure that nothing stuck to the grill. Each side was grilled for about 5 minutes, or until things lookes sufficiently browned, with a slight blackening (i.e. grill marks).
Here they are, grilled and ready to eat. I didn’t keep the skewers on for the bento box. I knew I couldn’t fit them into the box like this. However, the point was more to get a semblance of grilled vegetables. For me this was enough (because I’m not going out and getting another grill).
Be the bento everyone!