Sunday, August 12, 2012

0 Recipe #317: Steak Kebabs

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After making this recipe earlier in the week, I got another request from Erik to make it again last night. :) Of course, you don't have to use steak for this recipe; you could use a variety of meats like chicken, lamb, or seafood like shrimp, scallops, or even chunks of tuna or salmon steak. For vegetarians or vegans, tofu, seitan, or tempura would make a nice choice as well. All of these selections grill really nicely. (At first glance, vegans and vegetarians will probably wonder why I've tagged this post as "vegan" and "vegetarian" when the recipe title clearly includes steak as an ingredient, but that's because I've included some modifications to make them so.)

These kebabs would taste best on either a charcoal or gas grill, but an electric grill will, of course, do in a pinch. I love it when the veggies and meat get "branded" with those yummy grill marks. :)

I'm happy to announce that this recipe will be featured in 7 Weeks to 10 Pounds of Muscle: The Complete Day-by-Day Program to Pack on Lean, Healthy Muscle Mass by Brett Stewart and Jason Warner, with a muscle-building meal plan, sports nutrition tips, and recipes by moi. :) Please see the 7 Weeks of Fitness and The Athlete's Cookbook Facebook pages for more details.

It's been a real pleasure working with Jason Warner and Brett Stewart on this book! They are really fun (and super funny) guys! That's always a huge bonus when collaborating together on a book. :) I just recently signed on for the project and we've got a September 1st deadline, so I should probably apologize to my friends and family in advance for my lack of communication lately. ;) As the project progresses, I'll be posting little blurbs here and here about the book, since I've been just a little consumed with my writing lately. The preambles to the next few recipe posts will probably be really brief, since that's about all I have time for lately. Lol.

OK, enough gabbing on about stuff; it's time for that recipe. :)

Steak Kebabs

Kebab Ingredients:
8 oz. top sirloin steak, defatted, silver skin removed, and cut into 1 1/2” cubes (or substitute other selection; see "Chef's Notes" below for suggestions)
1 c. red onion (1/2 c. medium-sized red onion)
1 c. green bell pepper (1 small green bell pepper)
1 c. red bell pepper (1 small red bell pepper)
1 8 oz. box mushrooms, whole
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, whole
1 1/2 c. pineapple chunks, cut into 1 1/2” cubes

Marinade Ingredients:
1 c. extra virgin olive oil
5 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp. paprika
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt

Directions: Pour all marinade ingredients into a small bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Next, place the steak cubes into a medium-sized bowl and the vegetables and fruit into another, separate, large bowl. Pour a 1/2 cup of the marinade over the steak and the remaining amount over the vegetables and fruit. Toss each separate bowl with two sets of separate utensils. Place into the fridge and chill until serving time. (The marination process can be done up to a day in advance ; it’s easiest to do the prep the night before and just let the kebab ingredients marinate overnight.) About a half-hour before serving time, spear all of the kebab ingredients onto 12” skewers, alternating the steak cubes with the fruits and vegetables. Be sure to leave enough room at the tips of the skewers so that you can easily grasp them. Grill on medium-high heat, until the steak reaches the desired level of doneness, anywhere from 5-15 minutes. (Test a piece of steak with a knife and fork.) Kebabs should have grill marks on them when ready.

Yield: Makes 6-8 kabobs on 12” skewers.

Chef's Notes: To avoid cross-contamination, be sure to wash your hands after handling raw meat.

If you'd like to substitute another selection for your kebabs, here are some suggestions: chicken, lamb, or seafood like shrimp, scallops, or even chunks of tuna or salmon steak. For vegetarians or vegans, tofu, seitan, or tempura would make a nice choice as well.

As for alternate vegetable choices, you could go with zucchini, yellow squash, or eggplant. I'd recommend cutting these veggies into cubes, because if they get a bit flimsy when they're grilled as rounds. Also, fruits taste really superb when grilled, so don't be afraid to experiment by mixing savory tastes with sweet. If you're a bit skeptical about doing this, let me just say that you might be pleasantly surprised. Fruits like peaches and nectarines will caramelize on the grill and taste absolutely divine. Tropical fruits like star (or carambola) fruits, mango, and papaya, if still firm and cut into large chunks versus slices, might also work as well. Due to their cool shape and bright yellow color, star fruits would make an especially nice visual presentation. Since I haven't tested out any of the aforementioned tropical fruits yet, I can't recommend these choices one way or the other. So you're shooting into the dark there. Lol. If you do try them, please let me know how they work for you. And of course, if I try them, I'll probably update this post with more conclusive findings. :)

Plus, they go really nicely with meats and seafood. Whatever fruits you choose, just be sure they are firm, because flimsy or soft fruits will basically melt on the grill. ;) It's for this reason I'd recommend that you avoid fruits like strawberries, even if they appear firm to the touch. Even if you spear whole strawberries onto a kebab, their flesh tends to get mushy and dissolve on the grill. And then, there are some fruits that are really acidic by nature and will get even more acidic on the grill; for this reason, I'd recommend that you avoid grilling kiwis at all costs because, not only will they get mushy, but they'll also change composition and become extremely unpleasant-tasting when heated. This is also why they are not supposed to be added to jello; the acid in them reacts poorly with the jello and will keep it from solidifying.

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