Karen’s Mixed Grill Kebabs with Cajun seasoning.

What do you call meat that has been skewered and grilled? There are lots of culinary terms/names that fit that descriptionsuch assouvlakia,kofta,kebabkebob,satay, etc. It is usually served with a flat bread or pita or over rice. The meat most often used is pork, chicken, beef and lamb, even fish.

Kalamakiis another word for skewered meat. Actually, its meaning is Greek for a small reed, skewer or drinking straw. It is also the name of a small town just outside of Athens. So is the town surrounded by a marsh of reeds? I have no idea; although I have been to Athens several times, I never made it to the town of reeds… Kalamaki. But I am really getting off track. Let’s get back to the skewered meats and other foods eaten on a stick.

Last week I made an extra-easykebab I am almost too embarrassed to share… it was that easy. I had in my fridge 1/2 pound sirloin steak, 1 large chicken breast, one 8-ounce andouille sausage and a few jumbo shrimp and sea scallops that I bought for this recipe. It was so easy and wouldn’t you know it, my husband said it was one of theTop 10dinners I have ever prepared for him and one of the easiest for me.“Please Join Our Table” but don’t let him know how easy this was!

My Quick and Easy Mixed Grill Kebabs

(Serves 4)

1/2 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/2-inch disks

1/2 pound boneless sirloin steak or lamb, cut into 1/2-inch disks

1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken, cut into 1/2-inch disks

8 extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined

8 extra-large sea scallops

2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup Italian dressing (homemade or store bought)

1/3 cup spicy Cajun seasoning or any seasoning mix of your choice

4 large metal skewers or 8 small ones*

DIPPING SAUCE

1/3 cup butter

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, finely minced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoonjalapeñosalt

1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper

Pinch of paprika

In a Ziplock bag place the steak, chicken and Italian dressing, mix well and set in fridge for 4 hours, turning it over a few times within the 4 hours. Remove steak and chicken from the fridge and let sit 15 minutes. Place steak and chicken on a small plate and discard the Italian dressing. On a plate place the seasoning. Wipe the shrimp and scallops dry. Lightly coat the seafood with the seasoning, set aside. To assemble thekebabs,laythe skewers on a baking tray and one at a time; start skewering the meats and seafood. Start with a piece of sausage, add a piece of chicken, shrimp, beef, scallop, then another sausage. Repeat with the next skewer until you have this assembled on each skewer. Now, go back and repeat the process until all the meats and seafood has been skewered, ending with a piece of sausage. Sprinkle a bit of the seasoning over all the skewered meats and seafood. Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a small saucepan. Heat on the stove over low heat; when it begins to simmer, stir and reduce heat to lowest setting. Preheat your grill to medium-high; when it gets hot, baste the grill with a bit of olive oil and immediately place the skewers on the grill. Cookkebabsfor about 3 minutes or until meats are released from the grill and easy to turn over. Using thongs, turn the skewers over. Now bast the top side with olive oil. Cook another 3-4 minutes or to the preferred doneness of the steak and the seafood has cooked and turned opaque. Turn over one more time, brush with more oil and immediately move them to a platter.Place the dipping sauce in 4 ramekins. Serve with Greek rice pilaf, a big salad and pita bread.

*Note:If using wooden or bamboo skewers, always presoak them in water for 30 minutes before assembling thekebabs.

Israeli Kofta Kebab

1 medium red onion

4 cloves garlic

1 cup of fresh Italian parsley leaves, no stems

2 pounds ground beef or lamb or a mix of both

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon lemon pepper

In a food processor or small chopper, finely chop the onion, garlic and parsley. In a large bowl, mix the ground meat with all the rest of the ingredients.Mix just until completely combined.Shape the mixture into rectangular balls like plump little log shapes and carefully place on a skewer. Place all skewers in a baking pan and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove from the fridge and place on a preheated outside gas or charcoal grill or stovetop (even a large cast iron pan will work on the stove). Grill or pan fry about 4-6 minutes per side depending on how big you made your kebabs. They should be cooked to about 160 degrees.

Fish Kebabs (or Patties) with Yogurt Sauce

2 1/2 pounds filets of cod, halibut or any thick, meaty fish cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes

4-5 green or spring onion bulbs, finely chopped; do not use the green tops

1/2 cup parsley leaves, finely chopped

1/3 cup mint leaves, finely chopped

1/2 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped

Zest of one lemon (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

TAHINI YOGURT SAUCE

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

1/2 cup tahini paste (mixed well before measuring it as oils separate in the jar)

1 cup thick whole milk yogurt (I strain mine over night before measuring)

Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste

Mix all the kebab ingredients in a large bowl except the fish. Carefully add the fish and mix gently until fish is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove from the fridge and gently place on skewers. Place on preheated outside grill or inside stovetop grill or large cast iron skillet. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side or until fish is no longer translucent. To serve, place them on a on a platter or put in a pita and serve with the yogurt sauce.

Option 2:I find this way the best to use in a skillet. You can finely chop the fish and add it to the other ingredients. Create 6-8 round patties. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat skillet or grill pan. Cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side until golden. Serve with the yogurt sauce.

Tahini Yogurt Sauce Directions: Heat the oil and turmeric in a pan to simmer stage. You can now strain the oil to remove the turmeric, leaving only turmeric oil, or just continue and cool the oil completely. In a medium bowl, add the turmeric oil to the remaining sauce ingredients. Mix until smooth.

*Note:If using wooden or bamboo skewers, always presoak them in water for 30 minutes before assembling thekebabs.

Karen Boughton
Author: Karen BoughtonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I grew up in a big, Greek, cooking family. I married my high school sweetheart and soon had three daughters. My husband and I worked in the family’s Greek restaurant, “Zorba’s,” for several years before moving to Baton Rouge and eventually Corpus Christi. There I taught microwave cooking classes for Amana.in studio and on television for three years before moving to Kingwood in the late '80s. I reached out to learn more about regional and international foods, spending 16 years in management in private athletic/dining/country clubs for ClubCorp, where I embraced health and cooking. In 2008 I joined the Tribune Newspapers as food editor, the same time that I became a nutrition advisor and USANA Health Sciences Associate. These two passions have given me better health and the freedom to live life my way.

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