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Kat’s suggestion fulfilled with shish kebab recipes – Tricks and Tips

More Kats’ imitations of Shack sauce recipes

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, column suggestions are always welcome.

Margaret Clark recently suggested a column featuring shish kebab recipes, so that’s the topic this week.

Shish kebab is a transliteration of the Turkish sis (with a cedilla on each s) kebap. While food historians often credit Turkish soldiers as the “inventors” of shish kebabs, skewered meat cooked over open flame exists all around the world — Japanese kushiyaki, Indonesian satay, Greek souvlaki, Brazilian espetinho, Chinese chuan and Spanish pinchitos, to name a few.

Traditional Mediterranean kebabs are most often made with lamb, but any meat or even just vegetables will work. Kebabs can be grilled or cooked under the broiler if grilling isn’t feasible.

When I limited my search to only past Idea Alley columns, pickings were skimpy, as in almost nonexistent. Next, I expanded the search to the Democrat-Gazette’s general archives and found quite a few. Most of the following are from stories I wrote and one or two are from Susan Nicholson of The 7-Day Menu Planner.

If you have a favorite shish kebab recipe, I’d love it if you’d share.

Cumin Chicken and Vegetable Kebabs

  • ¾ cup plain yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger OR ginger paste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne) or to taste
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 24 pieces
  • 2 red or yellow bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 zucchini or yellow squash, cut into ½ -inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro OR parsley

In a large zip-close bag, combine the yogurt, garlic, ginger, cumin, paprika, turmeric, salt and cayenne; add chicken. Squeeze out air and seal bag. Massage yogurt mixture into chicken. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or refrigerate for up to 12 hours, turning occasionally.

Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Thread chicken, peppers and zucchini onto skewers (soak skewers in water for 30 minutes if using wood). For more even cooking we threaded each item separately. Coat kebabs with vegetable oil spray.

Heat broiler. Coat broiler rack with nonstick spray.

Place skewers on prepared broiler rack. Broil 5 inches from heat, turning halfway through, or until chicken is cooked through (internal temperature reaches 165 degrees) and vegetables are tender, 12 to 18 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro or parsley.

Makes 4 servings.

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Aloha Kebabs With Sesame Rice

  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 6 to 8 fully cooked sausage links such as andouille or kielbasa (14 to 16 ounces total)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
  • ½ cup hoisin sauce OR Asian-style barbecue sauce

In a medium saucepan, heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add 1 ¾ cups water, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 15 to 20 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed.

Meanwhile, heat broiler. Line a broiler-safe pan with foil; set aside.

Cut the sausages into 1-inch chunks. Cut the bell peppers into 1-inch chunks. Thread sausage, bell peppers and pineapple onto 8 (12-inch) skewers. Brush with sauce. Broil, turning once or twice, 10 to 15 minutes or until sausages are heated through and peppers are tender.

Serve with rice.

Makes 4 servings.

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Rosemary Lamb Kebabs With Bell Peppers and Mushrooms

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 ¼-pound lamb leg or shoulder, trimmed and cut into 18 cubes
  • 12 medium whole mushrooms
  • 2 bell peppers (any color) cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 large zucchini, cut into 12 pieces

In a small bowl, combine vinegar, garlic, rosemary, cumin, salt, black pepper and coriander. Thread 6 (12-inch) metal skewers alternately with lamb, mushrooms, bell peppers, onion and zucchini. Baste with vinegar mixture. Broil 4 inches from heat source 4 minutes per side or to desired doneness, 145 degrees to 160 degrees for medium-rare to medium.

Makes 6 kebabs.

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Shrimp and Tomato Kebabs

  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled, pressed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 5 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon sherry wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 12 uncooked extra-large shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 12 (2-layer) sections of red onion wedges, optional
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray

In a medium bowl, whisk the oil, garlic, thyme, smoked paprika, wine vinegar, salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper. Transfer half to a small bowl and reserve. Use the mixture in the medium bowl as the glaze. Serve reserved mixture as a sauce.

Alternately thread shrimp, cherry tomatoes and sections of onion wedges (if using) on each of 4 long skewers. Arrange skewers on large rimmed baking sheet. The skewers can be made up to 6 hours in advance. Cover and chill skewers and glaze separately.

Coat grill rack with nonstick spray and prepare the grill for medium-high heat. Brush skewers on both sides with glaze. Grill until shrimp are opaque in center, turning and brushing occasionally with more glaze, 6 to 8 minutes.

Serve with the reserved glaze/sauce.

Makes 2 to 4 servings depending on appetites.

Note: If you’re using bamboo skewers, be sure to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes.

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Steak and Mushroom Kebabs With Sour Cream Dill Sauce

  • Sauce: ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Kebabs: 2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
  • About 2 tablespoons olive oil OR vegetable oil, divided use
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 ½ pounds tenderloin, sirloin or top round, cut into 1- to 1 ½-inch cubes
  • 1 pound small white mushrooms, stems removed if desired

To make the sauce: In a small bowl, combine sour cream, mustard, dill and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

To make the kebabs: Heat grill on medium-high. In a medium bowl, combine mustard, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and salt and pepper, to taste. Add steak cubes and toss to coat evenly. Thread steak onto skewers.

On separate skewers, carefully skewer mushrooms so they can lie flat on grill, then brush mushrooms lightly with remaining oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Place skewers on heated grill and cook, turning every few minutes until steak reaches the desired doneness — 8 to 10 minutes for medium-rare — and the mushrooms have browned and softened, 10 to 12 minutes.

Remove meat and mushrooms from skewers and divide evenly among individual plates. Spoon on sauce; serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

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