These skewers are quick and easy to prepare and a winner with all when served. Allow one skewer as a starter, or one or two for a main, bulked out with some rice and a green salad.
Recipe introduction by Sally Swift for our Weeknight Kitchen newsletter. Sign up to get wonderful new recipes direct to your inbox every Wednesday.
Wander through the medina of Tripoli and you will soon smell the sizzle of beef kebabs wafting through the air as little hole-in-the-wall stalls grill up a storm throughout the day. To get the meat super succulent you need to have a high fat content—I suggest at least 20 percent fat. These kebabs are simple to make and cook fast on a barbecue. Rather than serve them in a wrap, I like to make these a little different, plating them up on a slick of hummus—either buy your favorite or make a batch—and then top the meat with a really zesty mix of red onion, sumac, and parsley.
This week’s recipe is a super simple take on the kabob that can be done with or without a grill. Sabrina Ghayour’s recipe for Spice-Marinated Beef Kabobs from her book, Feast, relies on that powerful combo of spices plus time. Sirloin steak is cut into generous pieces and marinated with smoked paprika, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, lots of garlic, lemon juice and oil. She sears the marinated beef on the stovetop until crusty and then threads them on skewers for the table. If you have a grill at the ready, don’t hesitate to grill them on the skewers over medium heat until crusty. If the beef marinates a little longer, say overnight, it will be even more flavorful.
Here’s a new take on Tex-Mex. The salsa that roasts under the kebabs is something like a cross between salsa and baked beans. It’s spicy and not too sweet, despite the tiny amount of brown sugar which aids in caramelization. Serve the beef and salsa with tortillas and jarred pickled jalapeño slices for easy homemade tacos.
Fresh salmon is cut into bite-sized chunks and skewered with alternating slices of fresh lemon. They are given a quick grill and then finished with a fresh basil vinaigrette.
To avoid the hassle of removing the shells, we went with peeled shrimp for our grilled shrimp recipe and then crammed them onto a skewer, which prevented them from overcooking. We took the shrimp off of the grill before they were completely cooked and finished cooking them in a heated sauce waiting on the cool side of the grill; this final simmer gave our broiled shrimp recipe tons of flavor.
Membrillo, or Spanish quince paste, is a wonderful product to keep in the pantry. It’s traditionally served with cheese, but I can easily think of dozens of other ways to use it, from making marinades to martinis – it really is versatile. This quick and very delicious glaze for chicken is, well, just a bit different. Skewered, served with salad or stuffed into bread, the chicken is great however you serve it.
Soaking the skewers in water prevents them from catching fire during grilling. If you have metal skewers, use those instead.
Viet cooks love to grill thinly sliced pork; it's no wonder banh mi thit nuong is one of the ubiquitous options at Viet delis.