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Summertime and grilling go hand in hand like… well like summer and grilling.
Looking at these pictures, I have to admit, I am spoiled. See how all the men are working to create this steak kabobs masterpiece of a dinner? Want to know what I was doing? Supervising. Wine in hand. So, yeah, spoiled. I love to cook, but on this particular day I was just not feeling it. It has been a long day. We were down in Portland for the weekend, visiting family. My sweet grandfather, is getting older and currently in an assisted living facility. We had spend the morning visiting with him and my grandmother, talking about their childhoods, including a pet chicken named Blue.
We had then spent the rest of the day exploring Portland, including a long trip to heaven on earth, Powell’s City of Books. If you’re a book lover, you have to go. Like, have to. It’s an entire city block of books! One million books! As I said, heaven on earth. You could get lost in there for hours. But, don’t worry, if you do, there is a cafe for sustenance. So, after perusing the shelves for a while, and picking up a few things to bring home, we walked down the street for a drink.
Coming across one of my favorite breweries, Deschutes, of course we had to stop. I could write an entire post about both Deschutes and Powell’s Books. Heck, maybe I will. We stepped in from the heat to enjoy a couple beers and some snacks in what can only be described as a technicolor hipster wonderland. It was awesome. Wood carvings, neon signs, and just an all around hip environment. You wouldn’t expect anything less of a landmark Portland brewery.
Back to my original point of this tangent, it was a busy day! And, so by the time it became time for dinner, all my doing energy was spent. All I was left with was supervising energy. I do love to cook. My dad is the one who instilled my love of cooking and taught me all of the family secrets. Or, well, most of them. Every so often I learn a new “family secret” in the kitchen.
Since it was such a nice summer day we decided that grilling our dinner was a must. We were staying with my aunt and uncle in their beautiful home, and they have a fantastic, multilevel deck, with gorgeous territorial views from the grilling area. Plus it was a perfect summer day to enjoy being outside. Since it was mostly men we would be feeding, it was quickly decided that steak is what would be on the menu. Steak kabobs would be a perfect way to feed the crowd. With one vegetarian in the group and everyone else being veggie lovers, portabello mushrooms were added to the menu, along with other sturdy vegetables that would hold up to the heat of grilling.
For a side, it was discussed using pasta, or rice, but then gnocchi popped in my head. I love gnocchi, but isn’t something I usually make. It worked out perfectly. The gnocchi stood up to the steak and grilled vegetables, where pasta may have fallen flat.
Little tip: Part of the reason I’ve shied away from kabobs in the past is that they never turn out how I invision. I would mix up the meat and veggies on the skewers in a beautiful array of colors and pop them on the grill. Only, to have half the ingredients burnt while the other half were undercooked. Instead, I learned, make your kabobs by ingredient. We did separate kabobs for steak, portabello, and other vegetables. This way we were able to cater the grill times to what would work best for each. The end result means you don’t have beautiful mixed kabobs, but it does mean that everything is cooked to perfection.
- 1-2 lbs of steak (your preference, we used tenderloin)
- 4 portobello mushrooms
- 2 large zucchini
- 2 sweet onions
- 2 red bell peppers
- balsamic dressing
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
- 1 package of gnocchi
- 1 jar of alfredo (or even better, make your own!)
- Preheat grill on high
- Slice steak, portabello and other vegetables into large bite sized cubes
- Skewer the cubed ingredients (steak all together, portobellos all together, all other vegetables together)
- Drizzle steak with balsamic dressing, salt & pepper
- Drizzle portobellos and vegetables with olive oil, salt & pepper
- Grill until done - Steak about 8-10 minutes, Portobellos about 10-12 minutes, Vegetables about 10-15 minutes
- While grilling, make gnocchi according to package, and then dress with alfredo sauce
- While hot, place gnocchi with alfredo in a bowl and top with desired kabobs
- Bonus points for serving with delicious olive bread, yum!