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I Love Kebabs


ScooterQ
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In our family, kebabs are favorite meals. The version below is chicken breast with garlic, cilantro, olive oil, curry, salt and pepper. We usually put mushrooms on the veggie skewers, but not this time.

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I know there's a world of kebabs out there with lots of styles and marinades. We're kind of stuck however, cycling through just a few recipes (the kids always want teriyaki chicken). I thought perhaps the other kebab lovers on the board might broaden my horizons. What are your favorites?

BTW - I've tried numerous types of kebab skewers (including the double pronged Weber version) and the ones below by Kristline are the best. They're very sharp and have a deep U shaped groove that holds onto the food. You can buy them here: link. Highly recommended.

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I love kebabs too! I don't know if they are Arab or Turkish in origin. I always thought Arabic, but I've seen some accounts that point to a Turkish origin. Hard to say which as far as I can see (which sometimes isn't that far :biggrin: ). Basically it's meat on a skewer cooked over a fire.

Here are some Algerian marinades, salt and pepper to taste on all of them.

Olive oil

garlic

chopped flat leaf parsley

cumin

fennel

coriander

turmeric

or

Olive oil

pureed onion and garlic

lemon juice

sumac

or

Olive oil

garlic

saffron

turmeric

cumin

or

Olive oil

garlic

cumin

fennel

coriander

caraway

finely chopped herbs such as thyme, flat leaf parsley or coriander leaf

or

Olive oil

Blood orange juice

honey

nutmeg

ginger

there's more...

The acids or tenderizing agents of choice in Algeria would be citrus or pureed onions. We don't do yoghurt, which I think of as a Middle Eastern touch. I think of vinegar as more Middle Eastern to.

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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chefzadi, thanks for your reply . . . your suggestions sound really good (the blood orange-honey marinade in particular appeals). So let's talk about proportions and meats. Are these for lamb, chicken, pork, beef, or does it matter? I'd like to try a ground meat kebab, where you form the meat around the skewer and drop it on the grate. What approach would you take to that?

Now about proportions . . . I started with 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 6 garlic cloves, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, 1 tsp table salt, 1 tsp curry powder, and black pepper to taste. I would pretty much take the same approach on the similar recipes below, but I'm a little conflicted about the acid. I've heard acids inhibit browning, and to me, that's the point. I could be wrong about this, but I think a kebab has more surface area to sear (and for the marinade to cling to) than the same cut in original form, which is why I prefer a kebab to a chicken breast. So how much honey, how much orange juice?

There's a restaurant here in the Northern California with a menu based on kebabs. Called Askew grill, it's very Atkins/South Beach friendly (served on a salad) and very popular . . .

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Pork? :shock: You won't be finding pork kebabs in North Africa or the Middle East. :biggrin: The sweet marinade would be good for chicken or *gulp* p p p pork. I'm teasing.

The rest you can use any meat. I use enough oil to coat the meat, so the quantities depend on the meat. As for honey you can omit if from the marinade, make a little glaze by combining it with some orange juice to brush it on the meat during the last couple of minutes of cooking. In the marinade enough orange juice to coat the meat, not too much so that it's swimming in it. I hope I'm not confusing you with the lack of precise quantities. But I feel that it's much easier to actually cook when you stop measuring and you learn how to gauge with your eyes.

As for the spices, it's like salt and pepper. To taste. I don't know about acids inhibiting browning. The sugars in the orange juice would encourage browning though. High heat is of course the key to browning.

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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In our family, we often make Shish Kofta (the ground beef kabobs), Shish Tawook (the chicken kabobs served with my absolute favorite garlic sauce - strong enough to take your head off!) and Indian Chicken Tikka.

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I'd like to try a ground meat kebab, where you form the meat around the skewer and drop it on the grate. What approach would you take to that?

I'm not sure what you're asking. How would I form the meat or how would I season it?

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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i'm a kabob addict myself.......

make a mexican one with pork marinated in lime, garlic and cilantro.....

use roma tomatos, zucchini and yellow squash, red onions and jalapenos for the veggie bobs.......

i drizzle some evoo on before cooking just so the salt and pepper will stick.......l

brown corn tortillas on a stone.....

guacamole, pico de gallo, an ear of corn, case of negro modellas........

great way to eat healthy, delicious, simple and cheap.........

homemade warm shortcake, strawberries and heavy cream for dessert...

i can't wait for summer.........

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great way to eat healthy, delicious, simple and cheap.........

I second that.

i can't wait for summer.........

Summer? We don't need no stinking summer to grill!

OK - so now I'm definately doing a pork kebab next. Country style ribs maybe - with chefzadi's blood orange marinade . . . I'll take your advice on the quantities zadi and let you know how it goes. hazardnc - care to expound on the Shish Kofta and Shish Tawook? What tradition are these from? I love an adventure.

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i like kebabs also. the typical marinade i use is 7up, sugar, soy sauce, vinnegar, salt, pepper, and garlic. post more picks please!

when i was in maui, i saw a cool place called kahuna kababs but they were closed so i couldnt taste.

great way to eat healthy, delicious, simple and cheap.........

I second that.

i can't wait for summer.........

Summer? We don't need no stinking summer to grill!

OK - so now I'm definately doing a pork kebab next. Country style ribs maybe - with chefzadi's blood orange marinade . . . I'll take your advice on the quantities zadi and let you know how it goes. hazardnc - care to expound on the Shish Kofta and Shish Tawook? What tradition are these from? I love an adventure.

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Shrimp kebobs marinaded in charmoula sauce. There is a thread in the Middle East/Afric forum with recipes for charmoula sauce. It's delicious with seafood.

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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Hi everyone, as you can see, I'm new here. i come from Cyprus - so I'm big on kekbabs too. There, we don't usually marinade the meat before hand. With red meat, we just season after it has been sealed, with white meat we season before. Baste with plenty of olive oil. And once it's on the grill/barcecue we don't mess around with it - ie don't keep moving it. Cook oneside, then turn, cook the otherside. Other flavours can be added after in the form of dips and side dishes. At the end of the cooking, we put the pitta breads on top of the meat, so it picks up the flavours.

When the pitta bread is ready, we lay it on a big serving dish, lay the kebabs on top to rest, so that the juices run through onto the bread, and add lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. At home, the way we serve it is to put one skewer onto the bread wrap it round and pull the skewer out. Unlike here in the UK where people open the pocket and put the kebab pieces inside.

A good dressing to go with it is: Slice a lemon in halves, fry in a little olive oil in a frying pan, until caramelised. Squeeze the juices into a pot of yoghurt (through a sieve to keep the pips out) with a little salt and olive oil, and mix. Add flakes of dried chili if you want spice.

Well, that's my kebab rant for today!

:smile:

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Welcome, TimZ! It's good to have you here!

What kind of seasonings do you use on red meat after sealing (did you mean searing?) What kind of seasonings do you use on the chicken before searing? Finally, could you elaborate on what you mean by cutting the lemon in halves then frying in olive oil? Do you really mean to cut a lemon into two halves? (That sounds a bit big.) Or do you mean to cut it into slices (like coins) and then cut those in half?

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Hello Smithy. The only seasoning I use before cooking white meat is salt, then keep it in bowl for 6 - 8 hours. With the red meat I season with salt (sometimes black pepper too) after sealing, by that I do mean sealing, not searing. ie the first exposure to the heat to seal in the moisture.

With the lemons, I know it sounds odd, but I do mean literally cut the lemon in half and caramelising, so that you can then squeeze the juice out which will be slightly brown. (It's a bit tricky to squeeze slices, and all I want is the juice.) I believe very much in fresh ingredients and natural flavours. Other flavours can be added to the meal with complementary dishs - like a mezze.

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i come from Cyprus - so I'm big on kekbabs too. There, we don't usually marinade the meat before hand. With red meat, we just season after it has been sealed, with white meat we season before. Baste with plenty of olive oil. And once it's on the grill/barcecue we don't mess around with it - ie don't keep moving it. Cook oneside, then turn, cook the otherside. Other flavours can be added after in the form of dips

Simple salt and pepper seasoning is my favorite. It's probably the most common Algerian version. But the marinaded versions are cooked too. Most times it's not even marinaded really, the mixtures are rubbed in or coated just before cooking. And yes, it's best not "mess around with it" on the grill.

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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...

With the lemons, I know it sounds odd, but I do mean literally cut the lemon in half and caramelising, so that you can then squeeze the juice out which will be slightly brown. (It's a bit tricky to squeeze slices, and all I want is the juice.) I believe very much in fresh ingredients and natural flavours. Other flavours can be added to the meal with complementary dishs - like a mezze.

That's a brand-new trick to me. I'm looking forward to trying it. Thanks!

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Well - I finally got around to trying chefzadi's blood orange-honey marinade on some pork kebabs (I used blade end loin pork) and the results were excellent. The kids weren't crazy about the the charred edges, which were the result of too much honey in the marinade (I used 2 T). Next time I'll leave it out of the marinade and baste with it. Thanks chefzadi. Thanks also to the other contributors, I'm looking forward to trying more ideas.

gallery_18162_333_11150.jpg

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I really like your photos. You're a serious kebaber! Is there anything better than meat cooked on an open fire? Yes, honey or other sweeteners can be tricky when grilling.

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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I am just curious....did you use wood or charcoal?

I had the best results with dried pines lying on the ground. They "glim" away

quiet fast, but they just add that extra touch of lavour. When i worked in Spain

I had the chance to use olivetree wood for my grilled aubergine. I think it´s half

of the rent to choose they right heat "source".

Am i wrong?

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My wife gives me sh*t about taking photos of food . . ."is the photo shoot over yet?" Well, f*ck her (OK!) :smile: I am a serious kebaber.

I used plain Kingsford briquettes here - not wood or even lump charcoal. IMO, you really don't get much flavor out of lump, and burning wood down to coals makes so much smoke that the one time I did it my neighbor thought my house was on fire. I've tried . . . really tried . . . to get smoke flavor into grilled food, but short of cooking with the lid down (which ain't really grilling if you ask me), it's never going to taste like barbecue. Burning actual wood helps, but the the resulting flavor is subtle. If someone has this figured out, let me know.

Kingsford is consistent, convenient (faster and easier than lump), and cheap. The folks spending a buck a pound for exotic lump are a complete mystery to me . . .

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I think you can get lump for a good price at Smart and Final. It takes a long time to get going, but when it's ready the fire lasts a long time. It's good for long parties or cooking larger cuts or even whole beasts. Otherwise for most occassions I would just use regular briquets.

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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The last time I bought a 40 lb bag of mesquite lump at Smart and Final it contained a carbonized stump. Seriously - I had to take a hammer to it to break it into pieces I could fit in my charcoal chimney. After that, lump just lost it's allure for me. I would rather just open a bag of Kingsford and dump it in than get covered in charcoal dust. I still use lump for barbecue however, since in my cooker the higher ash content of briquettes would choke the fire. If you have a Weber Bullet though, this is not a problem.

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  • 11 months later...

hi,

i was wondering what cuts of meat to use for pork and beef kabobs?

i know pork loin is used, but is there a better/fattier/tastier cut?

for beef, i know people use tenderloin, but that can get a little pricey. will sirloin be ok to use for the large picnics? is there a better cut?

thanks.

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Sorry to come in at a bit a tangent but I would like to pass on a couple of thouhts on the kebab thread. They are my wife and my favorite dinner that I bbq all year round.

I am very sceptical about marinades- all the science books tell you that without a lot of acid to breakdown the tissue, it is impossible to impregnate meats, especially chicken with its smooth texture. So I tend to agree with the earlier comments by our Cypriot contributor, that seasoning is all that is needed during the cooking stage.

To get to the point... I have found that marinading in a mixture of yoghurt, sifted flour and vinegar as the base (with any herbs and spices you care to add) for a few hours, before putting the cubed meat on scewers, works brilliantly. The marinade sticks to the meat, without tasting floury, and all the flavour remains on the meat and therefore benefits from the meat juices and licks of flame to create a great taste.

Happy cooking

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