Today is supposed to hit the 40s, and it might be a perfect opportunity to forget about that winter slog for a day. Plenty of sunshine, some kebabs and a cold brew might just be what the doctor ordered.
Speaking of doctors, my first born came into the world on the 11th, weighing in at a healthy 10 pounds, 5 ounces. We were fortunate enough to have my in-law drive in and spend some time with us, getting used to this new member of the family. Sleep is at a premium and things seemed to have slowed down, baby time.
We did come home to a brand new Weber Genesis II three-burner grill, however, a surprise gift for Bruce making his entrance. Having always been a guy not thinking a high quality grill made a difference, boy was I wrong. The consistent heat, lack of cold spots and overall higher-quality build make grilling what it is supposed to be. I finally get why some peoples’ faces light up when they talk about the ribeye they grilled up the night before.
I decided to give kebabs a go this week. I haven’t really been a huge fan in the past. It always seemed like a complicated way to make steak and vegetables. But I realized it’s all about the presentation and fun of eating them. It’s more of a production than anything. I also gave a new spice mix a go this week, and it was amazing. I’m not sure it will be easy to find — I found mine hanging out in the seafood section of the meat counter — but it gave a perfect balance of salty and savory. It’s called Santa Maria style seasoning, and if you can find it, I highly suggest it.
The second secret to kebabs is using high quality ingredients. I sprang for a delightful cut of ribeye to make sure I wasn’t chewing on shoe leather. You can use lower quality cheap cuts, just make sure to marinate it overnight. Portabella mushrooms, organic peppers and not previously frozen fresh shrimp made me a fan kababs once again.
Shrimp and ribeye kebabs
1 Red onion cut into eighths
2 Red, yellow or orange peppers (mix and match for a more colorful presentation)
1 package of portabella mushroom caps, cut in fourths (You will have leftovers; they go great in an omelette the next morning.)
Red potatoes cut in fourths (You can eat these; they turn out fine, but they are best used to keep everything in place on the kebab.)
1 pound fresh, never-frozen shrimp (The theory is keeping the shell on makes them more tender. But if you want to make it easy on everyone, shell before placing on the skewer.)
1 8-10 oz ribeye steak, cut into cubes
• Preheat your grill to medium low, about 350 degrees.
• Start your skewers with a quarter of a red potato to keep things contained and snug, then arrange however you see fit, finishing with another potato.
• After arranging all skewers, season with your favorite spice mix; salt and pepper will also work nicely here.
• Cooking times will vary on your grill, but keep checking them every five minutes or so until the steak has the consistency of the outside of your palm in between your thumb and pointer finger for rare, half inch in for medium and 1 inch in for well done. The shrimp should go from a translucent grey to pink when done.
• You can keep them on the skewers or take them off for presentation. Serve with a salad and cold beverage.