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Go Krazy For Kabobs
Celebrate Labor Day with Labor-free Grilling

Kabobs are a quick and easy way to barbecue It's ironic that a summer holiday like Labor Day often means more labor for the family cook. This year, a meal of easy-to-make kabobs will leave time to relax and join in the celebration.

From Indonesian satay to Italian spiedini, kabobs have exploded in popularity. Why? Maybe it's because the combination of flavorful spices and grilling appeal to our new way of eating. Maybe it's because a kabob is bite-size and fun to eat.

Or maybe we all just like eating off a stick!

For your kabob cookout, treat your family to a change of pace with great-tasting pork tenderloin. Pork tenderloin is one of the leanest pork cuts available and is easy to cut into cubes.

"Pork tenderloin is a great choice for a kabob party because it is so tender and versatile," says Ceci Snyder, M.S., R.D., Director of Nutrition Communications for the Pork Information Bureau for the National Pork Board. "It's easy to cut into bite-size cubes or strips and works well with a variety of flavors. I like to skewer the kabobs beforehand and let my guests choose from a variety of marinades and sauces."

Kabob combinations

Because of its versatility, the pork tenderloin kabob is the backyard version of "one-pot" cooking. For example, cubes of pork, chunks of corn on the cob and new potatoes can all be skewered and grilled. "Kabobs are simple to grill because the food is secured on a skewer and won't fall through the cooking grate," says Snyder. "You can use almost anything in the kitchen, mixing and matching flavors to design kabobs with alternating colors and types of food."

Snyder suggests the following combinations of ingredients to spice up the grill this Labor Day:

  • Italian - Create Italian Spiedini skewers with pork tenderloin marinated in olive oil, lemon juice and herbs. Red bell pepper and onion kabobs are the perfect foil for the pork. Italian spiedini kabobs are a barbecue treat for any occasionServe on Italian bread.

  • Indonesian - Indonesian satay is a skewer of high repute. Thread strips of pork tenderloin on bamboo skewers, marinate in peanut sauce and grill quickly. Rice and a cucumber and yogurt salad complement.

  • South American - The Argentine version of pesto is called chimichurri, which combines flat-leaf parsley, olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes. Marinate cubed pork tenderloin in chimichurri for an hour or two before cooking, then skewer and grill. Vegetable skewers of precooked sweet potato and poblano pepper chunks complete the menu with black beans and rice.

  • Chinese - Grill pork kabobs marinated in Chinese-style barbecue sauce alongside kabobs of pineapple, green peppers and scallions; serve with Asian noodles for a Pacific Rim meal.

    Easy kabob grilling tips - To make kabobs easier to grill and eat, try the following steps:

  • If using bamboo skewers, soak in water for 30 minutes to prevent charring on the grill.

  • Cut pork tenderloin into 3/4-to 1-inch cubes for even cooking.

  • Cook over direct, medium-hot fire. Watch closely and turn frequently to prevent burning.

  • Meat kabobs may take less time to cook than vegetable and fruit kabobs. Plan cooking times accordingly. Keep cooked kabobs warm on the grill rack opposite the fire.

    More about barbecued kabobs around the Web:

    Skewers & Kabobs -

    Fire Up the Grill for Kabobs


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