Thursday, August 23, 2007

My First Experiment with Grilling: Seitan-Eggplant-Brussels Sprouts Kabobs over Rice Noodles with Mixed Beets

I've never grilled before; my wife won from work a little 14.5" Weber "Smokey Joe" grill, so now is a good time to learn! I started by soaking hickory wood chips and seven wooden skewers in water for about a half hour; the chips put on hot coals add a nice hickory smoke flavor. I had forgotten, but had also wanted to soak several stalks of rosemary for similar purpose - I ended up soaking the rosemary for just five minutes or so.

I put about two dozen little briquets of easily lit charcoal in a pyramid in the bottom portion of the grill and lit them about twenty minutes later; true to instructions, it just took about ten minutes for the coals to get white-grey hot. My wife then used a stick to spread out the coal into a single layer, and we covered it with the grill top, with all the vents open.

I prepared the kabobs by soaking in about a half or more bottle of Baja Lime marinade chunks of seitan (I used a whole box), a small eggplant, and half of a red onion; slices of two small fingerling potatoes, a third of a zucchini; a small tomatilla, quatered; and, one to a skewer, whole Brussels sprouts. The potato may not have been a good choice as it may not be done when the other items are; the tomatilla (actually, the whole grilling experiment!) was a trial - my wife picked tomatillas up recently and I've never cooked with them, though I know they make good sauces; and the Brussels sprouts were difficult to push on the skwerers.

We let the kabobs go for about 25 minutes, then I turned them over. They've been cooking for about 10 more minutes and I'm about to boil some rice noodles for just 2 minutes, put them on the plates (where I've already served the remaining beets from the beet salad I've made recently, as well as heirloom tomato with spinach), and serve the kabobs atop the noodles.

Grilling was a success! I ended up cooking the kabobs for 25 minutes after flipping, so 25x2 = 50 minutes. The heat didn't seem so high; I wonder if I needed more charcoal (there was still some left after I was done and closed the dampers, cooling the grill down fairly quickly). The seitan was great! The potato wasn't done - I should have sliced it thinner. Everything else was quite good. Next time, I may want to baste the kabobs when I turn them over, but they were still quite good and fine not basted.


At Sun May 30, 10:39:00 PM EDT, Blogger FH said...

My first experiment with grilling seitan was to burn it!

At Sun May 30, 10:42:00 PM EDT, Blogger Dilip said...

FH, sorry that the seitan burned for you! I hope you'll try again!


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