Kabobs with a kick
A year round griller, kabobs are a summer favorite for their ease and versatility. I’m fond of heading to a farmers market and skewering whatever looks good that day.
Carol Dearth, from Bellevue-based cooking school Sizzleworks, offers us a few tips to help my farmers market creativity thrive and a couple recipes for those in want of solid direction.
When choosing veggies, consider how well they’ll hold up on a stick. Tomato slices tend to fall off, but grape tomatoes will hold on. Onions are a good way to infuse flavor and pair well with red peppers and summer squash, she said.
While each vegetable cooks at a different rate, they’ll each have the same amount of time on the grill. Try cutting slower-cooking veggies thinner or place them on the skewer so they’ll have more surface area exposed to the fire.
Garlic and oil make a great marinade, but you can put veggies in wine, vinegar and herbs. Just make sure to pat them dry and then spritz them with oil before placing them over the heat. It will help ensure they get a nice crispiness, Dearth said.
Dry rubs are a favorite in my home, because the marinade time is considerably shorter, but marinades can do wonders for tenderness. Make sure you dry and oil the meat like your veggies to get a crispy brown crust.Try finer cuts of steak, such as sirloin, and pork tenderloin, Dearth said.
Mixing veggies with meat on the skewer makes for nice presentation, but vegetables put off a considerable amount of water, which will prevent the meat from getting a nice crispiness, she said. Dearth prefers separating the food groups.
Before grilling, let the meat reach room temperature and heat the surface of the grill to about 400-425 degrees. Turn the kabobs every 2 minutes until done. If unsure, use a thermometer to check the meat. Veggies should be fork tender. Her final piece of advice was to make sure to soak wooden skewers 30 minutes.
Carol’s favorite rub (Great for vegetables or 1 pound of meat)
Pressed cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
olive oil, for spraying prior to cooking
Combine the spices and rub onto the meat. Refrigerate for 2-24 hours. Spray the skewers with the oil just before grilling. It will keep the spices from sticky to the grill.
Asian marinade (Use for 1 pound of protein)
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1-1/2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
Marinate meat covered in the refrigerator one hour for fish, 2-3 hours for chicken and 6-24 hours for pork or flank steak.
Recipes courtesy of Carol Dearth of Sizzleworks Cooking School in Bellevue.
Red wine & rosemary marinade
(Use for 1 1/2 pounds flank steak)
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, needles removed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Marinate covered in the refrigerator for 6-24 hours. Occasionally turn the meat to coat.