Yum-Sticks

    I don’t know when people started cooking meat and vegetables on sticks and for our purposes it’s not important. What is important is that these are easy and delicious. They are also extremely healthy as long as you don’t go overboard on the extras. 

     You can try different variations with the idea and see what you like. This is a general-purpose blueprint of cooking these, not a must be followed to the letter guide. I try to keep things easy and foolproof with cooking. I’m not a chef, I just like to eat good healthy food. Luckily most food cooked on an open fire can be pretty healthy and it’s cool. Who doesn’t like to see a grill going, right? 

    These also work great for camping or just a backyard bonfire. It’s food on a stick and it is just that easy. 

     You know how to roast a marshmallow. Yeah, on a stick. Then we turn it into a S’more. WHAT? 

     See how great of an idea food on a stick is. You can cook every course including desert like this. There is also very little clean up and it’s biodegradable. You can always just throw the sticks into the fire when you are done or after a S’more. Easy and delicious with little to no clean up. This might be as close to perfect as it gets. 

Meat and vegetables on a stick

   These things are so simple its funny. Cut red meat into cubes about 2 inches square. Cut up vegetables about the same. Does not have to be exact. On each stick you want to get a 4 to 1 ratio of meat to vegetable.1 piece of meat followed by 3 pieces of vegetable. Continue until the stick is full. It should come close to 4 to 6 ounces of meat per stick and however many ounces of vegetables that would be.

    Generally, mine goes like this. 1 piece of squash, 1 piece of zucchini, 1 piece of bell pepper, a few slices of onion, and meat. Mix in tomato and mushrooms at random. If you don’t like any of those vegetables: Don’t use them. You can also replace them with other vegetables. Broccoli, cauliflower, butternut squash, acorn squash, carrots: You get the picture. 

    The only thing you have to keep in mind is they going to be done at the same time. Generally red meat works best because if you cut it into two-inch pieces, they turn out mid rare when the vegetables are done.

  You can do chicken like this, but I don't want to end up with rare chicken and done veg. I cook chicken separately and just make vegetable sticks. The end result is basically the same but it’s risk free. You can also do it like this with fish. Fish done separately and vegetable sticks. You can do crabs like this. Shrimp like this. Alligator you can put on the stick like beef. See how multi-functional this is. Meat, vegetables, sticks and fire and you can have a delicious meal. You might even look like you know how to cook in case you want to impress someone with your culinary skills. Just don’t tell them how easy this is.

Marinade

    You can make an easy marinade from just a couple of ingredients and will give the sticks of food an amazing flavor. The basic marinade and baste is this:

  • ½ cup olive oil or blend of vegetable and olive: I like olive because of the flavor and it’s healthier. Blended half olive and half veg is cheaper. You can decide how you want to do it
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp herbs: Cilantro, Basil, Oregano, Rosemary, Dill, Chive, all work. Personal tastes can vary. Use what you like or mix them up as you like. There are no rules on what tastes good to you
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • ½ lemon: squeezed
  • ¼ crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

      Heat up the oil on medium in a sauté pan. When it gets hot add everything else to it and let it cook for 5 to 10 minutes and turn it off. Let it cool and it's ready. Put it into a jar or container and seal it for later.

    The marinade you can make early, and it keeps for weeks at room temperature. Maybe I've never had it last that long. Just put it on food and not food in it. If you put raw food into the marinade, you have to use it right then or within a couple of days.

    Make your sticks and brush them with the marinade and let them sit for a couple of hours. Brush them again before you put them on the fire. If it flames up it’s fine. It’s actually what you want. It gives it a good sear and gives it flavor.

   Let them cook for about 3 to 5 minutes and brush again. 

(Chicken takes a little longer, that’s why I do them separately but with the same marinade. Just put the chicken brush and marinade in a separate dish so you don’t cross-contaminate.)

 Flip.

Check to see if they are done. If they are, take them off. If not, brush and flip again.

   Eventually you’ll be able to tell when to flip them so you only have to do it once.

    You might have to sprinkle a little salt on them as they cook depending on your own personal tastes.

    That's it.

    You can serve them with a little brown rice or just a piece of grilled bread that’s been brushed in the same marinade.

   Simple. Delicious. Healthy. Little Clean Up. Can make every course including dessert. You’ll love it. I do.

 

Live by Faith. Love the Outdoors. Life is Out HERE!

written by Benjamin Evans