Monthly Archives: July 2013

Tips to Making a Great Shish Kabob

Shish kabobs are a classic barbeque food. The name describes meat, vegetables, and/or seafood that are skewered and then cooked over a grill. While the idea is simple, the amount of variation that can happen on that skewer means that anyone can make a Shish Kabob that is pleasing to their own, unique palette.  This makes them an ideal food for any gathering.

When making a Shish Kabob that are a few things to remember.  The first is to get the right skewers.  Skewers can either be made out of metal or bamboo sticks.  While both work perfectly well, bamboo sticks require a little more preparation.  Due to the nature of the wood, it is suggested that you presoak all the skewers for at least 12 hours.  This will prevent them from burning.

The next thing to consider is the type of meat that you select.  While chicken and beef are the most popular choices, you can also use lamb, pork, and seafood.  The best cuts for Shish kabobs include cutlets, tenderloin, steak and chops, cut into 1 inch pieces and marinated.  Stew meat, roasts, and rib meat do not tend to work well for Shish kabobs. You can also use 1 inch squares of tofu for a vegetarian option. These meats should be complimented by appropriate fruit and vegetable options, such as mushrooms, peppers, squash, zucchini, pineapple, and mango. Vegetables can also be season with a dry seasoning to help enhance their flavor.

To assemble the kabobs, take the skewers (patting the bamboo ones dry) and alternate your favorite meat and vegetable/fruit options. If you are having a party, consider letting everyone assemble their own kabobs so that they have their perfect combination of flavors.  Just make sure that you have the appropriate set up and utensils to prevent cross-food contamination.  This is particularly important as you handle the raw meat and seafood. Leave a ¼ inch gap in between each item on the skewer to help make sure that everything cooks properly. Also make sure that there is enough room at the end of the skewer to hold it.

Once your skewer is fully assembled, place it on a pre-heated, medium heat grill.  Cook the kabob to your desired level of “done-ness,” ensuring that the chicken and seafood are completely cooked through.  At this point your kabob is ready to be lifted off the grill, put on a plate, and devoured.

Simple Chicken Marinades

When you’re getting ready to barbeque, you want to take all the necessary steps to ensure that your food will be packed with flavor.  One of the best ways to do that is to marinade your meat.  Marinade is particularly good on chicken, as it both infuses the meat with flavor and leaves it soft and tender.  Here are 3 simple marinade recipes that you can try this summer and help take your barbequed chicken to a whole new level.

Pineapple

The sweet and fruity flavor of pineapple is a great way to add an exotic sensibility to your barbeque.  To make a pineapple marinade combine 1 cup crushed pineapple with:

1/4 c cider vinegar
1/3 c honey
1/3 c soy sauce

then add:

minced garlic (about 2 cloves worth)
1 tsp ginger powder
and lastly
1/4 tsp powdered cloves

This marinade will make about two cups, and the combination of flavors will transform your chicken into something truly special.


Lemon and Rosemary

Lemons and rosemary are two of the most classic flavors that you can combine with your chicken.  This particular marinade will give you chicken the flavor of a store-bought rotisserie chicken

To prepare this marinade combine the juice of 3 large lemons with 1/4 c fresh rosemary (or 2 T dried rosemary).  Then add:

1/4 c olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
and lastly
mince garlic (about 4 cloves worth)

The above ingredients will combine to make around 1 cup of marinade for your chicken.


Teriyaki

Teriyaki chicken is a favorite in many households.  To make a truly great teriyaki marinade, try combining the following ingredients.

1 c soy sauce
1/4 c Worcestershire sauce
3/4 c sugar
1 c water
3 T vegetable oil
2 T distilled white vinegar
2 tsp garlic powder
3 tsp onion powder
and lastly
1 tsp grated fresh ginger

Mix the ingredients until all the sugar is completely dissolved.  The marinade will make around 2 1/2 cups for your chicken.