Food on a stick. What can we say, really? Yes, it can be awkward at times. No one wants to have put time and effort into getting dressed up for a party in their new seersucker strapless, and arrive to find out they would have to juggle branches of food in front of their face. However, nothing signifies spring and summer like sticks of steak sizzling on the grill. Su-per-io-r.
There are a few simple ways to add some klass to your kebob, kabobs, and kibobs. The etiquette rules here are pretty hard to navigate (can you put the stick down if you already bit into it? Where does one dispose of the stick?) so you need to make it easier for your guests. Think head.
Now, normally, superior hostess try to fill their guests up with food. We don’t want guests hungry and most importatly we don’t want to look cheap. However, if you intend for your guests to pick up a stick and munch on it right off the wooden bone as it were, please do not cover the stick in food no matter what. Economize; here, less is more. There should be ample room on the stick (can a fist be wrapped securely around the base of the skewer? (Can you juggle a cocktail and a spare stick?) Think two shrimp and one or two chunks of pineapple per skewer. One piece of apply and one piece of pork. Everything on that stick should be bite size. Thing small lady like bites. Smaller is superior. However – you do need to make sure that you have at least 3 or four sticks per guests, for each item. Sorry, that’s the rule.
As I mentioned above, shrimp and pineapple on the grill (your choice of sauce or just EVOO, salt and pepper). Apples and pork. Sausage and pepper. Tomato and mozzerella. Two items really helps to keep the palate fresh. I mean it’s literally all about optional marinade for an hour or two and throwing the sticks on the grill (wooden skewers should always be soaked in water for at least a few hours – less you set your home on fire).
Please remember that ample napkins and discreet, strategically placed trash dispensers are a plus when serving food on a stick. Tin pails and plastic buckets make fun and colorful trash containers and can even sit on table. Guests will be staring at you to see what you do. Set the example immediately so others will follow.
Now for dessert, come on, how dainty is a beautiful display of fresh fruit with grill marks? Strawberries, pineapple, mango (harder, fleshy fruit) broiled over the grill for a minute or two is so light, so refreshing(especially if there are bowls of fresh sorbet or vanilla ice cream on hand). Preparation for this dessert is so easy – you can purchase pre-cut fruit from Whole Foods in the morning, stick it on a skewer and hello vodka tonic – you’re done! I like a generous sprinkling of fresh lemon juice and granulated sugar before I grill for a sweeter carmelized texture.