Grilled Shrimp, Tomato, Zucchini and Red Onion Kabobs with Mango-Chive Salsa

Grilled Shrimp, Tomato, Zucchini, and Red Onion Kabobs
1 pound large shrimp, peeled
1 cup cherry tomatoes
2 zucchini, cut into 1” rounds
1 red onion, cut into 1” wedges
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
6 tablespoons fresh chives, minced
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
2 teaspoons salt

Place the shrimp and the vegetables on skewers and then into a 9x 13 non-reactive (enamel or stainless steel) pan.  Combine all marinade ingredients in one bowl and coat the kebobs.  Let marinate for at least 1/2 hour.  If you’d like to work ahead, they can be marinated for up to 24 hours.  Meanwhile, prepare the salsa.

When you are ready to grill the kabobs, heat the grill to medium high heat.  Place all of the vegetable kabobs in one layer on the grill if you can and cook 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally.  When the vegetables are half way, put the shrimp kabobs on the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Mango-Chive Salsa

This is just so lovely and fresh, we couldn’t stop eating it.

1 mango, peeled and diced
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tablespoon fresh chives, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh black pepper

About  1 1/2 cups.

Grilled Lemon and Garlic Skirt Steak

I hear often from folks that they just don’t have time to cook.  I sometimes wonder to myself how that time is used instead.  What are we doing at the time of day when we are beginning to get hungry and our days should be winding down?  Are we driving to another practice, event, recital or meeting?  How is it that we’ve decided as a culture that we don’t have time to cook?  Our mothers had time, our grandmothers had time.  Why don’t we?  And why is it that we’ve decided that other things such as work, phone calls, computer time and television shows are more important than learning how to cook a healthy meal, sitting at the table and having conversation with our family, enjoying something more than hot dogs, frozen pizza and macaroni and cheese for dinner.

Don’t get me wrong, there are days when I don’t want to cook dinner just as much as the next person.  On those days we have leftovers, omelets, pasta, or takeout pizza.   But there are two things that I see we miss when we choose not to spend our time making dinner most nights.  The first is that sitting at the table with our kids, our family or just ourselves, is a way to wind down at the end of the day and connect or just be silent and still for a time.  Of course if you have younger children the silent and still part will have to wait for several years!  The second is about pleasure.  About the enjoyment of crisp vegetables, the flavors of spices and fresh herbs, the smells of a baked potato or a simmering soup – getting all of our senses into the act of eating.  If we keep spinning faster and faster, eating on the run, in the car and between meetings and recitals, without taking time to enjoy – what’s the point?

Skirt steak is only sometimes available at the large grocery store near me, but I can always get it from my local butcher.  If you can’t find it, a good substitute is flank steak.  You may need to increase the grilling time by one or two minutes.

2 pounds skirt steak, trimmed
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup lemon juice, about 2 lemons
1/2 cup tamari or soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil

Smash the garlic cloves with the flat of a chef’s knife.  In a resealable bag, combine all ingredients including the steak.  Press all of the air out of the bag and seal well.  Marinate for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.

Prepare the grill by lighting the coals in a chimney.  When the coals are hot, leave one third of the grill free of coals, one third with one layer of coals and the last third with two layers of coals.  (For a propane grill, simply preheat on medium high heat.)  Grill the steak on the medium part of the grill 3 minutes each side for medium rare.  Slice thinly on the bias.

Serves 4-6