From the SCCC Kitchen: For some fruity goodness, you can’t beat the heat (with video)

Fiery shades of red, green and gold will fill the skies this weekend, as the Capital Region celebrat

“From the SCCC Kitchen” offers Daily Gazette readers tastes from Schenectady County Community College’s nationally accredited American Culinary Federation culinary arts program. Recipes selected by SCCC instructors can easily be prepared at home. Today, technical specialist (and certified executive chef) Christopher Tanner has bright colors and explosions of flavor for the Fourth of July. “Honey and Mint Grilled Fruit Kabobs” can be used as a finale after hamburgers, hot dogs, steak and chicken have left the grill. Tanner offers more cooking tips at his blog, “Gastronomic Inspirations” at


Fiery shades of red, green and gold will fill the skies this weekend, as the Capital Region celebrates the Fourth of July.

Christopher Tanner prefers fruit works to fireworks. Especially when he’s got red, green and gold — in strawberries, kiwi and peaches — sweltering over flames.

“I’ve taken a combination of some honey, some strawberry vinegar, some mint and a little bit of ginger so you get a lot of flavor combinations,” Tanner said of his Honey And Mint Grilled Fruit Kebobs. “Those flavors caramelize when they go on the grill as well.”

People used to strawberries and peaches over shortbread and vanilla ice cream shouldn’t be surprised to see the fruits over fire. “You can cook fruit, Tanner said. “There are a lot of different things we don’t think about cooking. You go to other cultures, you see it a lot more. We’ve just gotten away from doing those types of things.”

Strawberries, peaches and kiwi are lined up with pieces of mango and pineapple on soaked wooden skewers. “It’s a little bit of upstate New York flavors mixed with tropical flavors,” Tanner said.

Other fruits can be used, but Tanner said sturdy selections from tree and plant work best.

“You want to stay away from really, really soft fruits,” he said. “Stay away from citrus, they’re just going to fall right off. Make sure any fruit you do use has a little bit of firmness. Don’t use a really soft mango; use a slightly under-ripe mango, otherwise it will just fall right off the skewer.”

Another tip is heat. Just like pyrotechnic shooting stars and rockets leave marks in the sky, Tanner likes to see grill marks on his fiery fruit. That means a hot grill.

“If it’s not hot enough, you’re really just steaming the fruit,” the chef said. “It’s got to be piping hot in order to get those grill marks on there.”

Honey and Mint Grilled Fruit Kabobs

1 mango, slightly under-ripe, peeled and diced into 1-inch chunks

1⁄2 pineapple, rind removed, diced into 1-inch chunks

4 kiwi, peeled and split in half widthwise

2 golden kiwi, peeled and split in half lengthwise (If golden kiwi cannot be found, substitute star fruit or nectarines)

2 peaches, diced into 1-inch chunks

1 pint strawberries, stems removed

1⁄2 bunch mint, stems removed and chopped fine

4 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

4 tablespoons strawberry vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss to mix well, marinate for 30 minutes. Before getting ready to grill, soak a number of wooden skewers in water. Soaking the skewers will keep them from setting on fire on the grill. Additionally, preheat the grill to medium-high.

Skewer fruit on wooden skewers, oil the grill with some vegetable oil and grill the kabobs on each side until grill marks begin to form. Brush with the liquid that accumulated at the bottom of the bowl used to marinate fruit. Try not to turn too many times, as the fruit will begin to soften and can fall apart if moved too much.

Serve the fruit kabobs with some ice cream as a dessert, or with a light white wine such as sauvignon blanc as a light summer snack.

Note: Any of the fruits may be substituted with favorite fruits.

Categories: Life and Arts

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