Killer Kebabs

IMG_8636By: Nikki Nies

While it’s not necessarily the warmest time of the year, that doesn’t mean meals have to be dictated by the weather!  The best part? There’s no right or wrong way to make them–whether you’re a vegetarian, griller or want to get your kids in the kitchen with you, these skewers are calling your name! With kebabs originating and made in several Middle Eastern countries there are variations in the spelling-kabob, kebob, kebap, kabab, and kebab.

Original Image by Steven Depolo via Flickr
Original Image by Steven Depolo via Flickr

No matter how you spell kebab, it’s important to note the sticks used to cook the kebabs, skewers, are not the same and can dictate the cooking method, temperature and/or enhanced flavors produced. Stainless steel skewers are the optimal type of skewer as vegetables and meat cling to the metal better than wooden skewers. If wooden skewers are used, make sure to soak them in water 15 minutes prior to skewing to limit chances of wood splitting. Additionally, make sure to apply a light coat of cooking oil to skewers, which will help the vegetables and meat slide off easier after cooking.

Grill wise, obviously personal preference will dictate whether charcoal or gas grill is used, but if a charcoal grill is used, it’s more likely a more “authentic” taste will be present.

Kebabs can be eaten as a meal itself or with pita bread, additional sauté vegetables and/or over a bed of rice.  Dipping sauces and/or marinades-Southern, wine, teriyaki, tarragon, sportsman, soy, rum, Oriental spice, mint, honey spice, herb, Hawaiian, California can be popular entity!

Hawaiian Marinade: Makes 1 cup marinade         

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

Combine all ingredients in a pint size, screw-top jar.  Cover jar and shake vigorously.  Store marinade in refrigerator until ready to use.  Shake marinade vigorously before using.

Recipe adapted from The Art of Barbecue and Outdoor Cooking

Speedy Marinade: Makes 1 1/2 cups of marinade

  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme m
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • 1 cup lemon juice

Put all ingredients except lemon juice in a small saucepan.  Heat.  Add lemon juice; stir to mix well.  Cool and pour over meat to marinate or store marinade, covered.

Recipe adapted from The Art of Barbecue and Outdoor Cooking

I hope the listed marinades give you some inspiration for future kebab cooking! Please share pictures and/or experiences of great dishes you make with your families! Happy cooking!

Photo Credit: Real Mom Kitchen


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