Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Guest Post: Fun Fruit Kabobs!

Hey everybody...girlichef here! Miranda is still off enjoying her vacation, so you've got me today. When Miranda asked me to do a guest post, I knew that I wanted to make something fun and family friendly...because that is totally the vibe I get whenever I visit here. Since summer's bounty is banging down our doors right now, I wanted to put some of it to good use! Admittedly there are no pineapples growing in my yard...or anywhere near it (I'm in Indiana), but I had to add some...because they just scream summer to me! The great thing about these... that there is no recipe, per se...just a to change and interpretation. I mean, come on...everybody likes food on a stick- it's fun! These fruit kabobs are something fun to make if you have guests coming over...or pack them for a picnic...or just have all the fruit ready and set it out at a party (for kiddos or kiddos-at-heart) and let everybody join in the assembling fun! I chose to use pineapple, cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, strawberries and red grapes for my kabobs...but you can use whatever is seasonal or just the fruits you enjoy most when you make these. I love that each of these fruits is a different, bright color- makes them that much more visually appealing!
I'd like to begin by demonstrating the breaking down of a pineapple...because I have had so many people tell me that they are scared to mess with a whole pineapple...too hard to cut up without a pineapple corer/peeler. I want to break that myth...because I honestly think they're one of the easiest fruits to cut up! Simply grab a cutting board and make sure it is anchored well to your counter (pineapples are juicy...don't want it sliding all over the place). Cut off the top and bottom. With a large chef's knife, slice from top to bottom, just under the area where you see the "eyes" of the pineapple. Make your way around. Once all of that scary outer peel is removed, cut into 4 equal pieces from top to bottom, through the core. Next, look for the light yellow core in each quarter and simple slice it off. You will end up with 4 gorgeous pieces of pineapple. From here, you simply cut each piece into chunks, tidbits, spears, etc! Easy, right! If you need rings, that is a bit different. Before you peel it, cut it in half the short way, then plunge an apple corer through the center to remove the core, then peel each half the same way and slice into rings. Now we'll move onto the cantaloupe. You can just peel it and chunk it if you wish...but for added fun, grab your melon baller! The first thing I do is slice of a little piece of each end to make it easier for the cantaloupe to sit still (won't roll). Next, cut it in half. Scoop out the seeds with an ice cream scoop. I use the large end of the melon baller and make my way in a circle around the flesh of the melon, keeping each cut close to the next...for maximum yield. Once you've used up the first row, simply (using a sharp knife) cut that layer off of the melon...straight'll end up with a holey slice. Start again on the next row and continue until it is all used up. You should get a couple of extra balls from the bottom center. And you definitely don't have to throw all the "extra" melon away...simply scoop it away from the outer rind and use it for smoothies...or something of the sort!Honeydew is the same process as the cantaloupe...The watermelon process is basically the same, too (use a seedless watermelon if you can)! The main difference is that a watermelon will yield more because you have that whole surface area! After you've balled the first layer, slice it off and repeat!I quartered or halved the strawberries, depending on their size.The grapes, I simply plucked from their stems. Look at all this gorgeous fruit...ready for threading onto skewers!With all this gorgeous fruit ready, the next thing I do is throw together a couple of easy "toppings". Because dipping food on sticks into things is extra fun!

Yogurt Dip
by girlichef

yogurt- plain or vanilla
cinnamon or freshly grated nutmeg

Simply stir up the ingredients, to your taste!
Chipotle Lime Salt
by girlichef

large crystal sea salt
zest of a lime (I actually used the zest of 2 key limes here)
chipotle chili powder

Stir 'em up. That's it!
Thread all of your fruit onto bamboo skewers...this is where you can enlist help (probably willing help, actually) or simply set it out for party guests to assemble themselves. Put your dippers/toppers alongside the fruit and you've got some luscious summertime fun!
Thanks to Miranda for having me over to her place...and thanks to you guys for hangin' out with me for a bit! But you know this is not all you can do with all of this deliciousness you whipped up...head on over to visit me , I also made this right here....