One Damn Good Kebab

Whether I am cooking at home on the porch or in the parking lot before heading into the ball game I have found myself recently taking a VERY strong liking to kebabs.  You have your meats, your fish, and your chicken.  The vegetables even bring a healthy aspect to the tailgate.

Cooking kebabs seems easy enough.  Cut up your meats (or chicken, fish), add some chopped vegetables, add your spices and oils, and put everything on a stick.  Cook them up and then hope your don’t burn your fingers when eating them!

But to get the best kebabs there are a few general rules you should follow.  Gotta love the Internet and it’s endless supply of information.  Here’s some of the key things that I found out and should be helpful to you for your summer kebab grilling…

When cutting, be consistent with the size of your cuts.  All kebab ingredients should be the same size.  Having small cubes and large cubes of food on the same skewer will lead to uneven cooking and a bad tasting kebab.  Small pieces of of meat tend to dry out, while larger pieces take too long for the center to cook before the outside gets too chared.

– You will need separate sewers for short and long cooking ingredients.  It is fine to grill peppers, onions, and meat on the same skewer.  Cook the more delicate ingredients, like eggplant, on a separate skewer.

– Go with metal skewers and not the wooden ones (especially the cheap ones you can get at the dollar or grocery store!).  Flat, metal skewers prevent the food from slipping and twirling when you turn the skewers on the grill.  If you are using wooden skewers make sure that they are flat and soak them prior to putting them on the grill to keep the exposed ends of the skewer from burning.

– Since kebabs are made up of small pieces of food make sure you are doing the cooking over a medium-hot fire and not a super-hot fire to avoid unnecessary charing.

– Though it may seem like the “manly” thing to do, it is best and wise to not eat the food directly off of the skewer (hello mouth and finger burns!).  Hold the skewer with a towel and then use your tongs to slide the tasty goods onto a plate.  This will also allow you to combine the foods that are cooking on separate skewers.

My favorite kebab is still the simplest of the bunch.  Shrimp coated in olive oil and Old Bay seasoning, with a mix of red, green, and yellow peppers.  Throw in a Land Shark beer…hello summer!