Friday, August 5, 2016

My Favorite Steak & Veggie Shish Kebabs

One of my favorite things about summer is grilled food! I know lots of folks use their outdoor grills year-round, and I try to stretch my grilling season as far into autumn as I can, but summer is prime grilling time at my house. I grill chicken at least once if not twice a week. It's so convenient to grill up enough for a few days and have it ready and waiting in the fridge to have with salad or rice or to mix into a quick chicken salad. Other days I'll grill up some pork chops like these Adobo Rub Pork Chops that I featured a few years ago. But steak and veggie kebabs are probably my favorite grilled food. Each time I make this recipe it gets rave reviews! And it's so simple. The only real work involved is chopping the veggies, and if you do some of the work the night before when you put the meat in the marinade, preparation the next day is a snap.

For the best taste, marinate the meat overnight. If you can get beef sirloin cubes from a butcher, use those. Standard beef steak cubes from a grocery store are fine too. I've used the ones marked stew cubes, and those are fine too, but they tend to have extra fat on them that I always cut off just because I like my steak lean. When I make this recipe I make a lot. If I'm going to go through the trouble of all that choppin', I make about 2 pounds of steak cubes. With all the veggies added it makes a lot of kebabs, as you can see in the photos below. Make sure you have lots of metal skewers! If you are going to use the bamboo ones, you have to soak them in water before you use them so they don't burn on the grill. I just use the metal ones because the bamboo are a pain. Literally! Sometimes they splinter when you are skewering your meat and veggies on them and omg it hurts when you get stabbed with one and if you've ever done this you will know exactly what I am talking about so no, you don't want to use those unless you are desperate for kebabs and have no metal skewers. Remember, Laura warned you about those bamboo skewers! 

Okay, the first thing I do is mix up the marinade in a bowl. I never measure it, I just kind of eyeball it, but for the sake of putting it in writing I mix up approximately these amounts:

Marinade for steak kebabs
For each pound of meat, whisk together in a bowl:
About 1/4 cup Soy Sauce
6 Tablespoons of Olive oil (you can use Canola oil if you prefer) 
About 2 teaspoons of ground Paprika 
2-3 cloves of fresh crushed garlic
1/4 teaspoon Black pepper
A couple shakes of Worcestershire sauce

On a cutting board I separate the steak cubes and trim away any fat, and cut any that are too large into smaller sized cubes. Then I put the steak cubes into a gallon-sized ziplock bag, add the marinade to the bag, seal the bag and then squish it around a bit so that all of the steak cubes are coated with marinade, and then refrigerate overnight.

Next, wash and clean the vegetables. I like to use a variety of colored peppers. I usually get one of each: sweet red, orange, yellow, and green peppers. Two to three Vidalia onions, a medium sized bag of mushrooms (or two of the 8oz packs), and a package of cherry tomatoes. If you can pick them fresh from your garden, do so!

Clockwise from top left: this is the meat that marinated overnight and is ready to skewer, Vidalia onion cut into quarters, peppers cut into skewer-sized pieces, and mushrooms washed, halved, and if very large, quartered. Yes, depending on how large the mushrooms are I will sometimes cut them into halves or quarters so that everything on the skewers is pretty much uniform in size. I also usually trim the bottoms off of the mushroom stems (about 1/4") just because they can be a bit woody or dirty. I skewer the cherry tomatoes on whole. 

One note about the onions: Once I slice the onions into quarters, I separate the layers, put them into a microwave safe bowl, and then microwave them on high for 1-2 minutes and then let them cool before I skewer them. I find that they cook much better on the grill if I microwave them a little bit first! It gets rid of that raw-onion crispness and instead they get juicer, soft and sweet. 

Time to skewer! As you can see in the photo above, I have my cut up veggies in bowls, and it's simple production-line work! Use an old broiling pan or any large pan with a bit of a lip to stack your skewered kebabs on. There is no right or wrong way to skewer. I find for some unknown reason that I always start with a piece of pepper. No idea why, it's just my thing. Remember to use all of the vegetables. Don't cross-contaminate. That means once the veggies get the raw meat marinade on them you have to grill them, so use all of the veggies! 

Aren't they pretty? These are ready to go on the grill. Heat up your grill for a few minutes and get ready to cook! I grill my kebabs on low, watching them carefully every few minutes as they cook, and turning them once or twice. I like my meat medium-well done and my veggies soft and well-grilled but if you like them crisper then grill them for a shorter period of time.  

These are just about ready to come off of the grill. Be sure to use grill tongs and an oven mitt so that you don't burn yourself, and place them on a clean pan. 

That's all there is to it! Yum! Enjoy! 

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