Friday, August 12, 2011

Take Your BBQ on a Mediterranean Cruise {Recipe & Giveaway}

Summer means barbecues, picnic, cookouts, all manner of get together with neighbors, family and friends. With so many events though it’s easy to fall into the rut of burgers, brats, dogs etc. I was asked by The Motherhood to get together with some very lovely ladies (Vanessa from ChefDruck Musings, Michelle from Honest and Truly, and Hyacynth from Undercover Mother) to think outside of the summer cookout box.

We were sent a box of Lawry's spices and marinades to use to spice up our summer fests:

The box included:
Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
Lawry’s Balsamic Herb Marinade
Lawry’s Original Seasoned Salt Marinade

We set out to create a flavorful Mediterranean flavored menu that will definitely stand up and get noticed at your next party!

The Menu:
  • Watermelon Gazpacho Topped with Avocado and Sweet Jumbo Shrimp Seasoned with Lawry’s seasoned salt
  • Balsamic Marinated Chicken Kebabs with Peach Chutney and Grilled Pineapple
  • Tomato and Mozzarella Salad with Dressing Flavored with Lawry’s Original Marinade (to be prepared by two other members of our team separately)

We all got together on a beautiful 105 degree day to set off on our lunchtime adventure. Adventure it was as we quickly learned that none of us have actually done the grilling in our family! Luckily I got a tutorial for my husband on our grill and we all got to take a turn at manning the fire:

Balsamic Marinated Chicken Kebabs with Peach Chutney and Grilled Pineapple

Peach Chutney 
Preparation time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes Number of servings (yield): 4

This peach chutney was a breeze to whip up and absolutely delicious with both chicken kebabs and pan fried pork chops.

2 fresh Peaches, peeled and diced
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1 TBSP of white wine vinegar
2 TBSPs of brown sugar
1 TBSP of balsamic
1 TSP of olive oil

  1. Chop the peaches, shallots, and onion.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan. Add the shallots and onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the peaches, lemon juice and zest, sugar, and vinegars. Stir well. Lower heat to medium low and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the chutney has come together and is a little brown.
  4. Will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days after preparation.

Lawry’s Balsamic Marinated Chicken Kebabs with Grilled Pineapple
Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes Number of servings (yield): 6

Grilled chicken kebabs can be quite dry but marinating them in the Lawry’s Balsamic Marinade kept the meat tender and delicious.

3 Chicken Breasts, Cut into 2 inch cubes
1 cup of Lawry’s Balsamic Marinade
1 Pineapple, peeled and cored, and cut into 2 inch cubes

  1. Wash and cut the chicken into 2 inch cubes, removing most fat and the tenderloins.
  2. Place chicken in a bowl and cover with the marinade overnight.
  3. Preheat your grill with one direct heat zone and one cooler indirect heat zone.
  4. Soak bamboo skewers in water for an hour.
  5. Peel, core, and cut the pineapple into 2 inch cubes.
  6. Thread the chicken onto skewers.
  7. On separate skewers, to maintain even cooking, thread the pineapple. Mixed fruit and meat skewers may look prettier but they don’t cook as evenly or safely.
  8. Cook the chicken first on indirect heat, 5-6 minutes on each side.
  9. Cook the pineapple second, also on indirect heat, 2 minutes max on each side to have it caramelize but not burn.
  10. Serve immediately, or place in the fridge to serve cold. The peach chutney makes a delicious dipping sauce.

This was delicious. I have never had chutney before because I thought I didn’t like cooked fruit. Our meal challenge  has really opened my eyes to some new flavors (cooked peaches being one of them) and I thought it was delicious! Since the pineapple tends to cook faster we cooked those separate so they woulnd’t char. If you were serving at a party you could re arrange on to nicer metal skewers once cooked before presenting on the plate.

Watermelon Gazpacho with Grilled Shrimp
Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 10 minutes Number of servings (yield): 8

This delicious summer soup was adapted from an Watermelon Gazpacho with Grilled Shrimp Eating Well Recipe.

1 Medium Seedless or Seeded Watermelon (about 8cups), Finely Diced
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
2 avocados, coarsely chopped
3/4 pound of large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 TBSPS of Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
Salt and Pepper to your Taste

  1. Mix watermelon, cucumber, bell pepper, white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil in a large bowl.
  2. Measure 3 cups of the mixture into a blender or food processor and puree. Transfer to another large bowl. Puree another 3 cups and add to the bowl.
  3. Taste the soup and salt as desired.
  4. Top with the remaining diced mixture and the avocado.
  5. Season the shrimp with Lawry’s Seasoned Salt.
  6. Thread onto skewers. Cook on direct heat for 3-4 minutes on each side.
  7. Remove the shrimp from the skewers and arrange them prettily around the soup.
  8. Serve chilled.

I have never had gazpacho before. Traditional gazpacho just kind of looks like a bowl of salsa to me and why would you eat salsa? This however was perfect and tasty for a hot (very hot) summer afternoon and since it required NO cooking it’s even better. Okay there was some cooking you had to grill the shrimp, but I don’t eat shrimp so for me it’s a great no cook recipe!

Tomato Mozzarella Pasta Salad with Lawry’s Balsamic Herb Marinade


1/2 c basil leaves, chiffonaded
3/4 lb fresh Mozzarella balls (Ciliegine size)
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 lb pasta noodles (any round type variety that will work well with a fork)
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/2 c Lawry’s Original Seasoned Salt marinade (or you could use Lawry’s Balsamic Herb)

Cook pasta noodles but don't let it completely cool. The salad will come together better if you add the dressing and accompaniments while it's still warm. Chiffonade the basil leaves, rolling them up then slicing the roll you created. Dice the red onion, and and chop mozzarella into bite size pieces. (You can cut up tomatoes if you’d like but we kept them whole.)

Toss everything together and stir in Lawry’s Balsamic Herb. Let it sit together for a few hours in the fridge for the flavors to meld, then serve cold.

Overall it was a great afternoon with friends and food!

Vanessa and Michelle

Want to take your food on a Mediterranean vacation too? Lawry’s is providing one reader the same gift box I received!

Mandatory entry
- Leave a comment telling me your favorite cookout menu item

Additional entry:
- Tweet (once): I’m taking my cookout on vacation with #lawrys and @pbinmyhair

You must leave a comment for each entry and you must have an email publicly linked to your profile or left in the comments. Giveaway closes on August 22 and winner will have 48 hours
to respond or a new winner is drawn.

Good Luck and Happy Grilling!

Disclosure: I was compensated by The Motherhood on behalf of Lawry's and was provided a stipend for groceries and the Lawry's spices in exchange for coming up with a menu, cooking it, and posting about it. All opinions and content from the post are mine. 

Photo credit: Hyacynth, Undercover Mother


Ginny Marie said...

That grilled pineapple sounds so yummy! I'm the main griller in our family -- less pots and pans to wash! I grill pork chops a lot -- it's something even the girls like to eat.

Rebekah from Simply Rebekah said...

My favorite is Turkey Burgers!! Yum!

Stacey Westbrook said...

My favorite cookout menu item would definitely one I didn't have to!
Your menu looks amazing! I think you ladies should just head on over to my place and duplicate it! Hyacynth is already IN Michigan... ;)

Lesley Mitchell said...

I love hot dogs :)

Dawn T. said...

I'm all about grilled veggies like zucchini and bell peppers! Yum!

Debbie Kennedy said...

My favourite menu item is homemade bacon hamburgers and grilled red peppers!
cleaningrhouse at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

Fav item is RIBS!

Kristen G. said...

My favorite for cookouts is BBQ chicken or burnt hot dogs. Yummy!!


Kristen G. said...



Erin S said...

I love frilled lemon asparagus!

Julie said...

Our favorite is barbecued chicken
thanks and have a nice day :)

Unknown said...

I like to make roasted potatoes with onions on the grill. I put them into an aluminum pan with oil, butter, spices, and salt and just let them cook for an hour or more. They always taste great!
ohmiss14 at yahoo dot com ☮

Unknown said...

ohmiss14 at yahoo dot com ☮

kpintn said...

The kids and I love when my hubby makes Kabobs! Using whatever veggies we have on hand with shrimp or beef!
Karen Dorris
kpintn / at/hotmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I love homemade burgers on the grill, thank you

Diana said...

I love barbecued hamburgers!

Laurie said...

My fav is ribs and potato salad!

Gina said...

My fave cookout food is always BBQ chicken!!! Yum!!!!

Colleenie said...

I love ribs... i think i want some now!!!

Colleenie said...

I tweeted about this giveaway!!/littleruk/status/105481786619985921


Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said...

The kebabs look great, everything does! I'm from the virtual team, just checking out the competition! :-)