Meat Tastes Better on a Stick

September is the time of grilling things on sticks. "Skewered grilled mackerels are a specialty in Munich during Oktoberfest," says Pata_Negra. “Look to Southeast Asian or Taiwanese street food for inspiration. Tofu skewers, blood cake skewers, whole squid skewers, intestine skewers... use your imagination... the Taiwanese have already thought of it."

Will Owen loves to grill "lamb kebabs, with onion, cherry tomatoes, and mushrooms," he says. "My second wife's dad was Armenian, and was in charge of the kebabs for the local Armenian society's annual festival, and was good enough to share the secret for avoiding either underdone meat or overdone vegetables: Cube the lamb and then marinate it overnight in olive oil, some salt, and lemon juice. This essentially cooks the meat, so all the fire needs to do is get it hot through and sizzley on the surface. And then you slide each kebab off the skewer and onto a plate of pilaf. Yowzah! (Which is not an Armenian expression, to the best of my knowledge.)"

"The Japanese have perfected the art of the light grilling recipe, but being a glutton, I cannot get enough of Filipino barbecued pork," says JungMann. "The kind that is cured in a combination of soy sauce and 7-Up, which produces magical caramelization on the grill. It is a largely undiscovered culinary delight, although the food blogs in NYC seem to have caught on with some of the nicer purveyors of Filipino BBQ."

"If you want to go more conventional, the secret to terrific Middle Eastern kebabs is pomegranate molasses," says JungMann. "It adds a really bright element without the floral notes of citrus so that you're not just eating meat. The marinade is a combination of olive oil, grated onion, and garlic with cumin, coriander, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, white pepper, clove, cardamom, ground ginger, Aleppo pepper, sumac and/or thyme, mint, or parsley. Spear cubes of marinated [meat] alternating with vegetables and grilling cheese (such as Halloumi) and occasionally baste while on the grill, inhaling the warm, delicious scents. During final baste, sprinkle with sesame seeds and mint. Serve with whipped garlic toum [a Lebanese dipping sauce]."

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