10 Scrumptious Ways to Celebrate 'Something on a Stick Day'
From the moment the first caveman skewered a hunk of triceratops flesh and roasted it over his hibachi grill, man has had a love affair with food served on sticks.
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Today, that love affair burns more passionately than ever. Almost every culture's cuisine offers some variety of punctured meat or perforated vegetation, from Azerbaijani kebabs to Japanese yakitori. In fact, the human race loves its stick-stuck foods so much, we created our own ridiculous holiday to celebrate all the delicious foodstuffs that we impale, char, and then serve on that same impaling implement.
With that in mind, we'd like to present the following ideas for puncturing food and grilling it over a flame, just like the cavemen did when they first invented propane.
(Left to right: What's Gaby Cooking, Season With Spice, Betsylife)
Smashed Steak Skewers With Cherry BBQ Sauce
Steak on a stick is already intriguing, but it's downright irresistible with cherry BBQ sauce. Try out this recipe from Michelle Tam's Nom Nom Paleo cookbook, which offers the additional catharsiss of getting to smash your food with a mallet prior to grilling.
(Nom Nom Paleo)
Chicken Yakitori Skewers
Yakitori is a Japanese snack consisting of charcoal-grilled meats on skewers, typically enjoyed alongside a cold beer. If that doesn't sound like the perfect cookout fare already, just wait until you see Carmen's yakitori recipe from Con Dos Palillos, featuring chunks of chicken and scallion in an addictive soy, mirin and sake marinade.
(Con Dos Pallilos)
Mexican Corn on the Cob
Nobody can resist Mexican-style corn on the cob (elote) after it's been slathered in traditional toppings like mayo, lime and Cotija cheese. Ronda at the Domestic Curator is no exception — she even has a personal recipe for this sweet and spicy south-of-the border treat.
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Grilled Filipino Pork Belly Skewers
Don't bother with bacon. Grab yourself a big fatty slab of pork belly and slap it on the grill, like the carnivorous bloggers at Meatventures. Salar and Jeannie offer two recipes for adobo-marinated pork-belly: one with a more traditional Filipino flavor, and another with a classic BBQ bite.
Spicy Charred Baby Octopus Skewers
These spicy octopus skewers from Lori at Taste With the Eyes might take a bit of extra prep work, but they really pay off in taste and presentation. And let's be honest, nobody's going to forget a barbecue where they were served whole sea creatures on sticks. Get the recipe here.
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(Taste With the Eyes)
After a trip to an Azerbaijani restaurant, Steph at Stupid Easy Paleo fell in love with their cuisine and vowed to recreate the experience at home. Her experiments resulted in this tender recipe for lamb kofta kebabs, an irresistable treat that goes splendidly well with a side of homemade lemony herb sauce or cool cucumber raita.
(Stupid Easy Paleo)
Grilled Shishito Peppers on a Stick
Japanese shishito peppers are becoming more common stateside thanks to their versatility and mild heat (their fun snack-size doesn't hurt, either). Take a tip from Gaby at What's Gaby Cooking and grab a few handfuls to grill up as appetizers or side dishes at your next cookout. "It’s just about the easiest recipe," she says of her three-ingredient dish. "And it’s so freaking good."
(What's Gaby Cooking?)
Tandoori Chicken Tikka Skewers
A lot of the flavor from this tandoori chicken tikka recipe comes from its marinade and Southeast Asian seasoning mix, but it only becomes truly special once each chunk is stabbed and set over the grill. Mark and Reese at Season With Spice like to serve their chicken in flatbread wraps, but we wouldn't blame anybody for eating it right off the skewer.
(Season With Spice)
Beef Satay With Peanut Sauce
Satays have long been a popular form of Malaysian, Indonesian and Thai street food, and we'd be willing to wager that it's at least partly because satay is served on a super fun stick. Try this Malaysian-style recipe for sirloin satay from Bee at Rasa Malaysia, and don't forget a savory side dish of peanut sauce.
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Grilled Shortcake Skewers
S'mores are the obvious choice when it comes to flame-kissed desserts, but any idiot can hold a marshmallow over a fire. For a real treat, try whipping up this grilled shortcake recipe from Betsy at Betsylife, featuring two kinds of grilled fruit and toasty pound cake.