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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Tired after holiday? Get out your grill

Another Memorial Day has passed, and while the crux of the weekend is to memorialize those who have fallen in service to this great nation, it also means the beginning of summer. We must never forget why the day exists and what it stands for, and I hope that many of you were able to celebrate it both patriotically and ceremoniously.
Our family celebrates the Day in our own private way, and we also usher in the new summer in ways that are reminiscent of most people on this glorious holiday, on which we had the nicest weather I could remember.
I worked a couple days at the club to help out a little bit and then took our two kids, who happen to love roller coasters, to Busch Gardens for one big hurrah. It was magnificent.
I only wish that I had a FitBit or something else that would have measured how much walking we did. At the end of our full 11 hours in the park, we could barely walk. And then I had to drive three hours home. It was a very – and I mean very – long drive.
The breakdown of rides in which we partook was as follows, and accompanied by our 10-year old and 14-year old, it was no small task:
•The Mach Tower – 6 times.
•Lochness Monster – 2 times.
•The Griffon (our favorite by far) – 13 times.
•Apollo’s Chariot – 11 times.
•Alpengeist – 2 times.
•A lovely boat ride.
•Three nice, quiet train rides to save our legs a little pain.
But the most interesting part of our trip was the Food & Wine festival, something of which we knew nothing. Breaking from the tradition of $15 platters of park-food that sits in your gut as you are hurled through loops, descents and speedy inclines, the park was offering an intriguing selection of grub.
In each country, signature dishes were offered tapas-style for $4-6 per item, with most of them topping off at $5. We sampled the Banh mi, muffaletta (you know I had to try that!), venison sausage with corn porridge, macaroni and cheese with cheddar and peameal ham, Scottish eggs, Chocolate-Guinness mousse and a Spanish tapas plate with paprika almonds, assorted olives, and Manchego topped with membrillo, or quince paste.
It was such a fun journey through the food, and the kids were brazen enough to try just about everything that I ordered.
In fact, they are even more intrigued about a road trip to New Orleans to try that true muffaletta at Central Grocery that I’ve been telling them about.
So as we woke up today, I knew that it was time to recover. As noted, we were pretty sore, and regardless of the food being fun and good, I knew that we just needed to unwind with a fairly typical fresh dinner. Yearning fresh and vibrant flavors that would help us to rejuvenate, I decided to make a mojo chicken skewer chock-full of vegetables and so much flavor that it would do all but cure our ails.
A cool little trick that I like to do when I heat up my grill at home is to rub it down with half of an onion after the grill is nice and hot. The antiseptic qualities of the onion help to sanitize the grill, but quite honestly, 600-degrees does that quite nicely already. The onion adds a great flavor and will have you playing Pavlov’s dog before the first piece of meat or vegetables hits the grill.
So as you go into the summer, please remember to fire up that grill often, or at the very least to hit your local produce stands to start incorporating all of the gorgeous goods that we have here on the Shore. And thank you to all of our fallen, for they have given us the opportunity to be who we are in the greatest, most diverse country there is.

Chicken Skewers
Makes 6 skewers
2lb Fresh chicken breast
2 c. Mojo Criollo (recipe follows)
18 ea. Cherry tomatoes, whole
1 ea. Zucchini, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 ea. Yellow squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 ea. Red onion, cut into chunks
Whole button mushrooms, as needed

•Clean all of the “goo” and cartilage off of the chicken breasts and cut into 1 x 2-inch pieces or to whatever dimension best suits your needs.
•Marinate the chicken in the mojo for at least three hours and as long as six.
•When ready to go, alternate the ingredients on the skewers, making sure to follow a pattern as this will make them quite ascetically pleasing.
•Brush with the marinade and season.
•Grill until the chicken is cooked and the vegetables are tender. A good hint here is to cut your tender vegetables into large chunks so that they are tender but not mushy by the time that the chicken is cooked through.

Mojo Criollo
1 c. Sour orange juice
1/2 c. Lime juice
1/4 c. Olive oil
1/2 c. Minced fresh garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/4 c. freshly minced Parsley
1/4 c. freshly minced cilantros

•Combine all ingredients at least one hour before using. Refrigerate until ready to marinate.