Kebabs with a Kick

Culture, color and cuisine: the three C’s of every Cinco de Mayo celebration.
This year, pass up the nachos and enchiladas and opt for something a little lighter and a lot more creative –– seasonal fruit kebabs marinated in a fiery chili sauce.

This zesty, colorful concoction is refreshing and totally unexpected. Party guests will love the succulent flavor of this guiltless finger food that can be easily transformed into a complete meal by adding grilled shrimp or chicken and serving over a bed of fragrant, steamy jasmine rice.

For watering mouths, keep a pitcher of fresh limeade on hand, and for those seeking more spirited alternatives, salty margaritas or minty mojitos will keep the conga line going well into the morning.

Seasonal Fruit Kebabs with Chili Sauce
2 honeydew melons
2 cantaloupes
8 ripe pears, peaches or apples (or a mixture of these)
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1/2 cup lime juice
2 fresh jalapeño peppers, seeds and veins removed   
   and roughly chopped
4 tablespoons red chili powder
18 6-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 20 to
   30 minutes.

Dice the fruit into 1 1/2-inch cubes. Place the fruit on the pre-soaked skewers, alternating fruits for flavor and visual appeal. Place into a shallow nonmetallic pan.

Cook the sugar and water together in a saucepan over low heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Allow the resulting sugar syrup to cool. In a blender, add the sugar syrup, lime juice, jalapeño peppers and red chili powder. Blend thoroughly for 1 minute.

Pour marinade over fruit kebabs, and marinate for at least 1 hour, turning kebabs occasionally.

Meanwhile, preheat the grill. Grill the kebabs on both sides until the fruit is warm and grill marks appear, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Remove the fruit kebabs from the grill. Brush with the remaining chili sauce, or serve on the side as a dipping sauce.

Recipe courtesy of Preston Cox from BBQ with Bobby Flay

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