When I lost my ability to play guitar as the result of nerve damage suffered in an accident I got into back in the early 80's, I was left with very few options with regard to outlets for artistic expression. I can't draw, paint or sculpt, wasn't proficient on any other musical instruments, and certainly can't sing. If the siren on an ambulance ever goes on the fritz, they could strap me to the hood and let me sing my rendition of "Mandy" by Barry Manilow. If that doesn't clear traffic (and the streets, and sidewalks, and buildings and possibly cause a mass migration to Belarus) nothing will.
Fortunately, I discovered that I was pretty good at cooking, and at duplicating from memory dishes that I had tasted and enjoyed at one time or another, everything from sauces to entire meals. As my confidence grew, I started tweaking things here and there and making improvements on the dishes I duplicated.
In the past few years, I've moved on to a more theoretical approach to cooking, occasionally inventing something entirely new and boldly going where no Aok4way has gone before. I'm grateful for the brothers and sisters on the block who are willing to come be my guinea pigs when I experiment, and even more grateful for their fellowship and love every single day. It allows cooking to be more than an act of artistic expression for me, it enables it to be an expression of my love for them as well. When I'm doing the work, I'm thinking not only about the work; I'm thinking about them, seeing their faces in my mind, imagining who will like what; I really do love them and I really do love doing it for them.
Well wouldn't ya know it, no one was around two days ago when I decided to do something a little less exotic and try my hand at shishkabobs for only the second time ever! The closest I had ever been to one before that was seeing a photo of one, so it was still something new for me as far as cooking goes, but still quite a bit less mysterious and quite a bit more orthodox than a lot of the things I make.
The results of my first attempt a week earlier were brilliant, even if I do say so myself, and they were just gorgeous, too. One sister who hangs out with us a lot and was here to enjoy that first batch with us snapped a few pics of them with her cell phone, but she doesn't know how to send them to anyone. All she can do is show the pics to people on her phone lol. So, I decided to do it again and get some pics this time.
The kebobs consist of big chunks of beef tenderloin marinated for 48 hours in my own marinade (worchestershire sauce, mustard seed, fresh milled black pepper, minced garlic, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, marjoram), colossal shrimp seasoned with dill, lemon rind, black pepper, and garlic salt, nice big chunks of broccoli, and red and yellow bell peppers fresh picked from our garden.
For sides, @Schotzie whipped up some of her unparalleled deep fried shrooms, some green beans, and some butter and herb rice. Although we do have a couple kebobs left over for snacks or unexpected company, the sides didn't even last a whole day; in fact the shrooms and rice were gone before supper was over lol. It would have been a delicious meal even without the kebobs thanks to her. A man couldn't ask for a better helper, I just can't praise her enough, and I ain't lyin'! But maybe I'll get on here and try one of these days (brag on her, not lie lol)
The dipping sauce for the shrooms is a pretty close approximation of Outback's if you've ever had it, and the remoulade dipping sauce for the shrimp is based on Outback's too, but tweaked quite a bit (restaurants dumb things down quite a bit for the uneducated palate).
Both start with mayonnaise and ground horseradish. For the shroom dip, I add a little dill, some garlic powder and some black pepper. For the remoulade I add a little ketchup and a little mustard along with lots of dill, a few splashes of worchestershire sauce, and a splash of lemon juice.
Mmmmmmm doggies! That's good stuff, Maynard!
And listen all you brothers and sisters in Christ out there... If you're ever going to be coming through middle GA, my door is open to you, every single one of you. Come refresh yourselves, have something to eat, and rest a while! I take this family in Christ very seriously and very literally, and there aren't many things that could make me or Schotzie happier than if you were to come fellowship with us!
Hope you enjoyed the pics, and if you did, there are a few more in my new photo album, "Dinner At Aok4way's!", please enjoy those too!
And no lie, we both hope to see some of your smiling faces at our door and our table some day soon! If you'll be traveling through or anywhere near the Macon area, message me and I'll give you all my contact info so we can make plans!
P.S.: Don't worry about the dogs, they're really very friendly until you get to know them!