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Cookbook review: On a Stick
It’s a book to bring a smile. Food served on skewers: mouthwatering titbits
stuck with delicate picks or substantial chunks on batons. Everything
here is poked and presented in stylish fashion, from bits one nibbles
in polite company to deep-fried and delectable munchies that one would
prefer not to share.
Food is so often the garnish to conviviality. We invite friends over
and we enjoy spoiling them with attractive things to eat. Yes, a meal
will often fit the bill but maybe it’s lighter fare we are after.
Perhaps the occasion calls for a grazing menu. This book suggests
striking and delicious solutions to all your dilemmas ...or at least
those that combine fun and food.
Matt Armendariz has penned 80 recipes for stick-suspended morsels for
both adults and kids, for formal and casual get-togethers and for
savoury snacking or dessert devouring. There are recipes for the noble
and health-obsessed and others for the rest of us. This is food that
will either charm you or make you laugh. Some classics and some
adaptations of familiar food combinations.
Antipasti Skewers illustrate how sophisticated yet casual this concept
can be. Matt presents Pickled Peppers stuffed with Feta Cheese
accompanied with a slice of salami, and Pepperoncini paired with
Marinated Artichoke Hearts. Add various kinds of stuffed olives and
mozzarella to the selection and the combinations are without end. Ideal
for a summer evening of prosecco and friends.
One could envisage an oriental theme of toothsome picks. Chicken Satay
with a Peanut dipping sauce on bamboo spikes, Chinese Five-Spice
Skewers full of aromatic flavour, and Chinese Meatballs served with
Sweet and Sour Chilli Sauce would make a splendid display for perhaps a
Chinese New Year party. You could consider adding some Crispy Orange
Beef Skewers for those with manly appetites. All of these could be
served on or off skewers along with rice for a light lunch.
An All-American evening of sport could be enhanced by some All-American
food. Chicken and Waffles sounds an unlikely marriage but it’s popular
in a chain of restaurants in the US. Chicken is marinated in herbs and
spices overnight. It’s coated in a sweet batter and then it’s
deep-fried. The author suggests a dip of maple syrup but I might
go the piquant route myself. Spicy Cajun Skewers are also truly
American but they are more delicate than the stuffed waffles and will
work well with the bottles of Bud that those lads will have brought
If you have a sweet tooth then you will find plenty at the back of this
book to inspire you. Deep-fried Candy Bars are a take on the Scottish
staple of deep-fried Mars Bars. If you want to feel noble then some
fruit would be in order. Matt has Frozen Bananas covered in Chocolate.
These are simple and well worth trying; a cooking project for the kids
who will love this unique confection. Those bananas are a little like
ice-cream. Frozen Elvis, on the other hand, is a frozen chocolate
banana with bacon and peanut sprinkles. An intriguing preparation of
sweet and salty.
On a Stick is a book for adults who want to throw classy and chic
cocktail parties. It’s a recipe collection to delve into when one is
planning a kid’s bash, and one for preparing hearty fare for boys’
nights in. Food is to be enjoyed and it’s never more entertaining than
when it’s served on a stick.
On a Stick
Author: Matt Armendariz
Published by: Quirk Books
Price: US $16.95, Can $18.95