Tag Archives: pineapple

How Not to Bore Vegetarians at a Cookout

What better to do than cook outside for the Fourth of July festivities? But what if you’re hosting a flock of vegetarians? Do not hit the panic button, The Practical Cook is here to help. There are a few ways you can host mixed company and not just go the burgers and dogs (veggie, of course) route.

How Not to Bore Vegetarians at a Cookout

1. Do not offer to grill them. Completely socially unacceptable. This includes actual cooking and a quiz about why they just won’t eat the burger.

Veg-in-a-Box

Veg-in-a-Box

2. Think outside the box. Seriously, I love a veggie burger from the freezer, I won’t lie. It’s easy, fast protein, and convenient. But if you’ve ever spent time as a vegetarian (I was full on for 7 years), you’ve eaten aplenty of these.

Grilled Corn

Grilled Corn

3. BYOV(egetable). Request that they bring something to grill. Perhaps you provide the grill and the beer, and they bring the plants.

Meat Kebabs and Salad

Meat Kebabs and Salad

4. Kebabs. If you’re going to do the cooking, this is the simplest way to do a single prep that will serve most in a mixed crowd. Use peppers, onions, mushrooms, fruit, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, squash, you name it, and thread some of the skewers with steak, chicken, or shrimp (just don’t serve me the shrimp one). The Farmer’s Market runneth over right now and will be open on Saturday in most places. Go there  and run wild. Be sure to buy some corn, too, because it’s awesome on the grill.

Grilled Pineapple

Grilled Pineapple

5. Pineapple. If there’s one thing you can do to impress anyone with your grilling skills, it’s grilled pineapple rings. They’re different, simple, and versatile. Try dipping them in coconut milk, brown sugar, rum, coconut flavored-rum, whatever. Slice into 1/2-inch rings, core them, and do not skimp here–use fresh. (Or consider fruit kebabs. Great info over at BarbecueBible.com, which I once worked on.)

Thanks to  VeggieMacabre for the question, be sure to send in some pictures! Also, thanks to Miss Clairol for the kebab photos. Blogging is seriously a tag-team sport.

What do you like to grill? Let’s hear some more ideas from the veggies out there, post your comments here.

What’s your burning question? Email me at practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading the Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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For Sunday, Weekly Menus from a remote location. Perhaps I’ll read my list as a video blog? We shall see.

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Filed under Kitchen Philosophy

Punt! Rotisserie Chicken al Pastor

What could be better than a Rotisserie Chicken? Out at dinner with some fellow bloggers (or as the Practical Cook prefers to say, “real bloggers”—these ladies know what they’re about), it was nice to discover that these convenient fowl have quite a following. Sunday night’s emergency chicken left enough chicken to do something with, but not enough to stretch for a meal for four. What to do?

Open-face Pollo Taco al Pastor

Open-face Pollo Taco al Pastor

Every once in a while, there’s a happy moment where multiple little things are in the fridge and they work together. This recipe comes from that special place, but is good enough that I’ll collect the ingredients and make it on purpose

Rotisserie Chicken al Pastor Recipe

Adjust amounts relative to your taste and your leftovers.

dash of olive oil
1 spring onion (or a scant 1/4 cup chopped onion, if you have one that needs to be used up)
1 head green garlic, minced (or a couple of cloves of regular garlic)
1 to 1 1/2 cups leftover rotisserie chicken, skin and bones removed, shredded
1 to 1 1/2 cups diced pineapple (fresh if you’ve got it, but a can will work fine), juice reserved
1/2 can diced tomatoes with mild chiles, or more to taste
1/8 teaspoon cumin
corn tortillas
1 cup shredded cabbage
lime wedges
guacamole, sour cream, chopped cilantro, diced onion, radish slices (optional accompaniments)

1. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add onion and garlic and stir until you smell them. Immediately add chicken and pineapple.

2. Stir mixture and cook for a few minutes until pineapple begins to get juicy. Add tomatoes and cumin, and add some of the pineapple juice, or extra tomato juice if the mixture is dry. Stir to combine, cover with a lid, and reduce the heat to low.

3. Simmer the mixture for 15 or 20 minutes until flavors meld, adjusting seasonings as needed.

4. When the chicken mixture tastes good, serve it on corn tortillas with a bit of shredded cabbage and a squeeze of lime juice.

Rotisserie Chicken al Pastor with Mexican Corn and Beans

Rotisserie Chicken al Pastor with Mexican Corn and Beans

Stand back taco truck owners, pollo al pastor in the house! (For those who aren’t taco truck fans, tacos al pastor are made with pork, take much longer to make than the above cheater recipe, and really rock out. So do give them a try.)

Do you prefer soft or hard tacos? Vote today in the comments section!

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Up next, Can This Castle Cake be saved? Birthday disaster looms.

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Filed under Punt!, Recipes