4th of July Kabob Bar

July means barbecues, and that will never change in my family. I’ve always said, I could live without a stove, but not without a grill. Weather permitting, my family grills out four nights a week.  However, for the last two weeks our stove has been broken, so we’ve literally been grilling everything!  Grilling is my favorite way to entertain for extended family and friends.

It doesn’t matter if you have the most basic grill, or one with all the bells and whistles – the act of grilling is all the same.  Nor does it matter where you are in order to have a good time.  One can grill outdoors on a small patio and serve inside, or grill in the garden; the feast is still the same.  The act of grilling is so informal and allows the host to actually enjoy their company and party.

That’s why this 4th of July, my family will be grilling!  Whether you’re entertaining a large group or simply your family, grilling is the way to go.  My favorite type of grill party is a kabob bar.  I start by providing an assortment of premarinated proteins and vegetables alongside skewers.  I then choose a few appointed “grillmasters” who are responsible for grilling the guests’ creations.  My husband Jim is usually our grillmaster, but it doesn’t hurt to have a few extra depending on the number of guests.  Outfit them with aprons, arm them with tongs and a beer, and most people will gladly accept the offer.

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A few tips to keep in mind for a kabob party for 15-20 guests

  • 3 proteins: one seafood, one poultry, one meat, about 9 pounds total
  • Assortment of 3-4 vegetables: about 4 pounds total
  • 4 pounds of small new potatoes: seasoned with herbs, spices, and olive oil, then roasted in the oven or the grill
  • All vegetables and proteins should be marinated, separately in the fridge for about 1 hour
  • Discard all marinades and present proteins and vegetables on separate platters
  • Presoak wooden or bamboo skewers in hot water for 30 minutes

A family favorite that we always turn to when grilling kabobs is Sesame Seed Tuna.  It’s a recipe from The Berghoff Family Cookbook (our first book) and one that can be easily gluten-free.  If your guests prefer a spicier dish, roll the tuna in cracked black pepper.  The 4th of July is meant to be a relaxing holiday, spent outdoors with friends, family, and good food!  Grilled kabobs are all these things and more.

What’s your favorite kabob creation?

Sesame Seed Tuna

Yield: 8 Servings

Serving Size: 1 Kabob

Sesame Seed Tuna

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine or sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon peeled, minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic
  • 2 pounds fresh tuna, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup mixed black and white sesame seeds
  • Pickled ginger, if desired
  • 8 soaked bamboo or metal skewers

Instructions

  1. Preheat the grill.
  2. In a medium-size bowl, mix the gluten-free soy sauce, wine, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic together to make a marinade. Add the tuna, toss well, cover, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes before grilling. Remove from the marinade and roll in the mixed sesame seeds before grilling. Discard the leftover marinade.
  3. Thread the cubes of tuna onto the presoaked skewers and grill for 2 minutes per side over medium heat. Serve with coleslaw and fresh fruit. Accompany with pickled ginger, if desired.
  4. Variation: Instead of using sesame seeds, roll the tuna cubes in coarsely ground black peppercorns before grilling. Alternate sweet red peppers and mushroom caps with tuna on skewers if desired before grilling.
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