Kebab’s Yer Uncle

 

bacon-kebabs-24

 

Holy rain, Batman! What a damp spring we’ve had! But despair not, things are slowly returning to normal in and around Toronto, and the forecast calls for sunny periods all week. And the May 24 weekend will be upon us before we know it, which means at least one very important thing; it’s time to prep your barbecue and grill for the season.  Once you’ve done that a whole new culinary world awaits. In the spring and summer, grilling’s where it’s at, and one of our favourite things to grill on the ol’ BBQ is a kebab.

 

Almost any kebab will do thank you, don’t limit yourself to big chunks of beef or lamb. If you can skewer it go for it. The word “Shish” is derived from the Persian word for skewer and “Kebab” itself comes from the Semitic languages for frying, charring or burning, which pretty much describes most of my adventures at the grill, so bring it on.

They say that food tastes better outdoors, and cooking it over smoking hot coals is one of the reasons for this. One of the most compelling reasons to cut that piece of meat into chunks and make a kebab out of it is the fantastic crust you get on the chunks of food, whether it is meat or fish or shrimp, or vegetables or fruit like pineapple, plums or peaches. They all grill beautifully and “kebabing” them, keeping them on a skewer makes it easy to manipulate them while they grill; turning each kebab over as it cooks, rotating it 3 or 4 times enables you to have a look at it in all its glory, ensuring even cooking and a mouthwatering visual appeal. Serving a platter of kebabs is a delight too, as your family or guests can pick the one or two or more that they want, place it on their plate and just slide the beautiful nuggets right off the skewer.

 

Grilled-Shrimp-575x381

 

When I plan a kebab feast I typically skewer the meat and veggies and fruit separately to ensure even cooking; cherry tomatoes for example char and cook a lot faster than a chunk of beef. Incidentally, halloumi cheese is incredible grilled, and works beautifully on vegetable kebabs. True, there is a certain visual appeal to a kebab that has everything on it, a chunk of beef, a piece of red pepper, a piece of onion, a cherry tomato, a button mushroom…repeat….if that’s your thing try to make the meat pieces small, but not so small that they dry out; about 1 ½ inch cubes so that the veggies aren’t grilled to death and the meat is large enough to stay moist and juicy.

 

veggie kebab with halloumi

veggie kebab with halloumi

 

Whether you’re grilling fish, or meat, or fruit or veggies, it’s super important that your grill is smokin’ hot, otherwise your kebabs will take forever, and will likely overcook as you wait and wait for that nice crust to develop. Now get outside and make get your grill in ship shape!

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