Welcome everyone to another installment of our Grilling 101 blog. Well, tomorrow is Labour Day, and the unofficial last day of summer. Most of you will be packing up the grill sometime soon. Because of this, today’s Grilling101 is going to be the last one for 2015. Next week we’ll be switching up the blog to a new seasonal topic. So, as we say farewell to our grills until next summer, let’s send them off by combining many of our grillable foods into a nice kebab.
The kebab originated in the Eastern Mediterranean, though it quickly became widespread across the Middle East and Asia, reaching as far as India and China. Traditionally it consisted of a piece of lamb being cooked on a wooden stick alongside some vegetables, usually peppers, onions, potatoes, and tomatoes. As the dish traveled, other ingredients were added, including fish, chicken, pork, beef, and goat.
The beautiful thing about kebabs, and the reason they became so widespread and popular, is that they can be whatever you want them to be. You can mix and match meats and vegetables, or even toss in a few grillable fruit like peaches and pineapples. This customizability leads to many ways a kebab can be presented, especially thanks to the charring from direct cooking. Here are some recipes for kebabs from a variety of sources that show off just how widespread this food can be.
Grilled Shrimp Lemon Kebab
- 24 medium shrimp, shells on, deveined
- 2 lemons cut into small wedges
- 16 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
- 3 yellow or zucchini squash, ends trimmed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 sprigs fresh basil, torn if desired
- Heat broiler on high. Place shrimp and lemon wedges alternately on 8 skewers.
- Halve the squash lengthwise, and then cut into 1-inch-thick slices. Divide among the remaining 8 skewers.
- Place all the skewers on a foil-lined baking sheet, or place all the ingredients on the sheet if you don’t have skewers.
- Brush the kebabs with oil and season with salt. Broil, turning once, until the shrimp are cooked, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Transfer shrimp skewers to a platter.
- Continue broiling the squash until tender, 3 to 4 minutes more. Serve the kebabs with the basil.
- Makes 4 servings.
Spicy Chicken Kebab
- 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- knob of fresh ginger, roughly chopped, plus extra to serve
- 1 orange, grated zest and juice
- 3 spring onions, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp clear honey
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 small skinless boneless chicken breast fillets, cut into cubes
- 20 button mushrooms
- 20 cherry tomatoes
- 2 large red peppers, seeded and each cut into 10
- Grind the garlic, ginger, orange zest and spring onions to a paste in a food processor. Add the honey, orange juice, soy sauce and oil, and then blend again.
- Pour the mixture over the cubed chicken and leave to marinate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight. Toss in the mushrooms for the last half an hour.
- Thread the chicken, tomatoes, mushrooms and peppers onto 20 wooden skewers, then cook on a griddle pan for 7 to 8 mins each side or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and golden brown.
- Turn kebabs frequently and baste with the marinade from time to time until evenly cooked.
- Makes 20 servings
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1½ lbs top sirloin steak, cut into 1½-inch cubes
- 1 large bell pepper
- 1 to 2 medium red onions
- ½ to a pound button mushrooms
- About 20 bamboo or wooden skewers
- Mix the marinade ingredients together in a bowl and add the meat. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, preferably several hours or overnight
- Soak the skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before grilling.
- Cut the vegetables into chunks roughly the width of the beef pieces. Thread the meat and vegetables onto double bamboo skewers. Paint the kebabs with the remaining marinade.
- Prepare your grill for high, direct heat. Grill for 8 to 10 minutes, depending on how hot your grill is, and how done you would like your meat, turning occasionally.
- Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Marinated Lamb Kebabs
- 500 g quality lamb, trimmed and cut into 2.5cm cubes
- 6 to 8 skewers or sticks fresh rosemary, lower leaves removed, tips kept on
- 2 red onions, peeled and quartered
- 2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into 2.5cm pieces
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 cloves
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- olive oil
- Combine cumin seeds, coriander seeds, sea salt, and black pepper in a pestle. Mortar until fine, then mix with the oil to make a thick marinade paste.
- Put the lamb pieces into a bowl and cover with the marinade. Let them sit there for half an hour to an hour.
- Spike each piece of meat alternately with red onion and peppers onto skewers. Grill for around 5 minutes, turning regularly until done. Allow to rest for a few minutes before serving.
- Makes 6 to 8 servings.
I hope you’ve all enjoyed our Grilling101 blogs. It was a blast making them for you, and hopefully you all walked away with a little more knowledge when it comes to your favorite grilling foods. We’ll be revisiting Grilling 101 next spring, so stay tuned until then and enjoy our upcoming blogs.