The weather is definitely getting warmer and that means grill season is upon us! Certainly you can throw on a big steak and make some grilled veggies separately but what if you could have all that all on one big stick? Yes, kabobs. It’s one those meals that has endless possibilities…well, if it can fit on a stick, it is a possibility. Squash and zucchini? Yes. Peas and spinach? Not so much.
So all you have to do is pack on veggies and meat on a big stick and throw it on th grill right? Well, no. Pack them to tight and they don’t cook evenly. Put the wrong meat on with veggies and the meat cooks and the veggies stay raw. There is that fine balance of what to put on the stick that allows the meat and veggies to cook evenly. Through trial and error I have a few tips to help:
- The veggies and meat should be approximately the same size. It allows even cooking
- Allow space between the food pieces so the heat can flow around the food.
- If you choose shrimp, cook them on a separate skewer. They cook much faster than the veggies.
Choose Your Weapon
Speaking of skewers – wooden or metal? Well, wooden skewers are cheaper and easy to find. Be sure to soak them in water for at least 20 minutes or they will catch on fire. Plus, you can use them as a tooth pick afterwards! However, I found some great metal skewers at Pottery Barn. They are reusable and never catch on fire. But remember – THEY ARE VERY HOT! Remember that bar scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where the guy grabs the girls medallion after it fell in the fire and it brands his hand? Ummm, that would be me and the metal skewer.
Here’s the game plan:
– If using wooden skewers, soak in water
– Cut the meat in cubes and marinade
– Cut the veggies in similar size and marinate
– Pre-heat grill
– Assemble meat and veggies on skewers (use separate skewer for shrimp)
I used sirloin steak, squash, zucchini, red onion and cherry tomatoes. Marinate the steak and veggies in separate bowls (I’ll tell you why later). Add this yummy marinade (recipe below).
1/2 lemon zest
2 lemons, juiced
2 garlic cloves, minced (or grated with microplane)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
Mix together and pour half over the meat in one bowl and the other half over the veggies in the other.
TIP: After removing all the veggies (NOT meat) from the bowl, use the leftover marinade as a dressing for a salad. Just whisk in a 1/2 teaspoon of Dijon mustard and you have a dressing.
This is the tricky part. Because I don’t know your grill and I don’t know what your skewers look like, I can’t give you exact times. I would say over a hot flame 4 minutes on each side. When it comes to beef or chicken, cut into the biggest piece and check it out. Yeah, you may lose the moisture from that one piece but you won’t over cook the rest. Don’t forget to let the meat rest under tinfoil for 10 minutes after removing from the grill!
I served my kabobs with wild rice (Uncle Ben’s microwave bag – don’t judge!) and a nice salad made of butter lettuce, toasted walnuts, blue cheese, and a dressing made from the left over marinade (from the veggies, NOT the meat).
It’s time to choose your own adventure and serve up a meal on a stick. The options are endless. These are so easy, even Ray can make them*!
* Ray did not make the kabobs shown in the post. It was just assumed by the Kitchen Mischief staff that it was so easy that Ray could actually make them…even though that theory has not been tested. 😉