On A Stick!
by Matt Armendariz
Walk into Bookworks to find yourself a nice cookbook and you’ll find a pretty sizeable selection of genre and sub-genre material. Seriously, we’ve got books that are diet-specific, culturally or locally focused, books for every meal-type and every holiday, and even some ridiculous novelty-esque cookbooks, like On a Stick! by Matt Armendariz.
At least, I would’ve dismissed it as ridiculous before I started considering it for this week’s Cookworks spotlight. Then I started flipping through it, to see exactly what kind of stick-mounted treats that Armendariz had in mind. What I found was a small menagerie of interesting appetizers, accompanied by an entourage of useful sauces designed to work with the finger-foods. Sure, maybe 25% of the dishes in this book are fried, but the recipe list is split straight down the middle, with forty savory dishes balanced by forty recipes for desserts and treats. So with plenty of skeptical chuckling, Dani and I set out to feature a handful of these skewered-foods in our kitchen adventures.
Mojito Melon Skewers
I decided to focus my attention on a delicious (and adults only, sorry) treat. To start, we took a whole honeydew melon and, removing the rind, cut it into twelve approximately equal wedges.
Then, we began preparing the marinade. We mixed the juice of 3 limes together with ¾ cup of Rum, 1tbsp. of powdered sugar, and several sprigs of freshly ground mint. This concoction was then poured over the melon wedges in a tray deep enough to keep the mixture from leaking, and tossed into the fridge to cool for an hour.
Once the melon has cooled, it’s time to cool it again. Line your tray with parchment paper, and add each melon wedge as you skewer it. Then pop those in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. The result is a deliciously chilled cocktail-fruit (that admittedly was probably a little cold for October, but whatever, we had fun).
Bacon-Wrapped Shimp (which we changed to Scallops)
It’s scallop season on Nantucket. Of course we’re going to take advantage. The problem was we didn’t get as many scallops as we thought we would. So we totally copped out and just put the dozen or so scallops on a stick and then put the bacon on a stick. I truly don’t know why I’ve never done that before. Bacon: skewered and grilled. Sinful. Really.
Todd, our buddy who happens to be the chef at Black Eyed Susan’s, pretty much did everything for this recipe, so I don’t really have much to say about the preparation but believe you me the outcome was tasty!
Red and White Sangria Pops
These are just as simple and as awesome as they sound. I’m a huge fan of sangria (and red wine in general) so I was quick to set my sights on this target. I’m not as into white wines, and with is being cold weather and all, my wine stock is full of reds. I decided to take liberty and mix the recipes for the red and the white pops. The red pops recipe was super simple and kind of boring so I through in all the cut fruit that was for the white. Red wine, powdered sugar, OJ, fruit chunks… done and done. Pour the mixture into little cups, or in my case, ice cube trays, cover with plastic wrap, stick in toothpicks and freeze. I’m absolutely doing this again, these little puppies were delicious.
Decorated Sugar Cookies
Our friend, Mara, gravitated toward this recipe the first time we flipped through this book. She bakes ALL THE TIME. The recipe was straight-forward and easy to follow. She had a problem with the sticks, however. They just didn’t work for her. It seemed to be the theme for night… kebabs are great but some things just don’t need a stick.
The cookies themselves were a hit….