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Assorted Grilled Kebabs

Assorted Grilled Kebabs 4.000

Dominic Bracco II for The Washington Post

May 20, 2009

It's easy to mix and match the kebabs for a party. For 8 people, you could halve this recipe for two of the proteins in addition to the full vegetable kebabs recipe. (For vegetarians, use a Worcestershire sauce that does not contain anchovies.)

Make Ahead: Marinate and skewer the proteins a day in advance. Either marinate the vegetables 2 days in advance and skewer them the day before serving, or marinate 1 day in advance and skewer them the day they will be served.


Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • For chicken, swordfish or shrimp kebabs (4 servings each)
  • 28 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (trimmed of all fat and cartilage), cut into 2-inch cubes (16 to 20 cubes), OR
  • 24 ounces 1 1/2-inch-thick swordfish fillet, cut into 2-inch chunks (16 to 20 pieces), OR
  • 20 ounces tail-on, shelled and deveined shrimp (16 to 20 pieces)
  • 3/4 cup Lemon Marinade (see related recipe)
  • 1 seedless cucumber (ends trimmed), peeled, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices (optional)
  • For lamb or beef kebabs (4 servings each)
  • 2 pounds boneless leg of lamb (trimmed of all fat and silver skin), cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes (16 to 20 pieces), OR
  • 1 1/2 pounds beef sirloin (fat removed), cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes (16 to 20 pieces)
  • 1 seedless cucumber (ends trimmed), peeled, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices (optional)
  • 3/4 cup Balsamic Marinade (see related recipe)
  • For vegetable kebabs (4 servings as an entree, 8 as a side dish)
  • 1 each medium red, yellow and green bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1-inch-square pieces
  • 1 medium (1 pound) eggplant, cut lengthwise into 8 slices, then cut crosswise into 1-inch wedges
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 8 slices then separated into rings
  • 1 pound (3/4 pound) cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed
  • 2 medium (3/4 pound) yellow squash (ends trimmed), cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 large (1/2 pound) zucchini (ends trimmed), cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 3/4 cup Balsamic Marinade (see related recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

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Directions

Soak 12-inch bamboo skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.

For the proteins: Place the chicken, swordfish or shrimp in a 1-gallon plastic food storage bag. Add the lemon marinade, seal the bag (removing as much air as possible) and massage the ingredients to coat evenly. Do the same for beef or lamb kebabs, using balsamic marinade instead of lemon. Refrigerate for 4 hours (beef and lamb), 2 hours (chicken) or 30 minutes (swordfish and shrimp).

Beginning and ending with a cucumber slice (if using), thread the protein on the skewers, using 4 or 5 pieces per skewer. Thread shrimp in a U-shape from the head to below the tail, with all tails facing in the same direction. Refrigerate the loaded skewers for up to a day in advance. Bring to room temperature before grilling. Discard any remaining marinade.

For the vegetables: Place them in a jumbo (2.5-gallon) plastic food storage bag. Add the balsamic marinade, oregano and basil; seal the bag (removing as much air as possible) and massage the ingredients to coat them evenly. Refrigerate overnight.

Separate the peppers, eggplant, onions, mushrooms and squashes into discrete piles so you can thread one kind of vegetable on each skewer (that helps them cook evenly). Pepper, onion and eggplant skin, as well as mushroom caps, should be threaded facing the same direction. Refrigerate the filled skewers for up to a day in advance. Bring to room temperature before grilling. (Unlike with marinades used for proteins, any leftover vegetable marinade can be reused; add oil and make a salad dressing.)

Prepare the grill for direct heat. If using a gas grill, preheat to medium-high (450 degrees). If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them under the cooking area for direct heat. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for about 4 or 5 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames. Lightly coat the grill rack with oil and place it on the grill.

Just before grilling, blot the loaded skewers on all sides with a double thickness of paper towels. Liberally grease them with nonstick cooking oil spray, which will help keep the kebabs from sticking to the grill. Place on the grill and cook for 10 to 12 minutes for chicken, lamb, beef; 6 to 8 minutes for swordfish; 4 to 5 minutes for shrimp; 8 to 10 minutes for vegetables, depending on the desired degree of doneness (cook the eggplant all the way, until soft). Turn the skewers frequently for even cooking.

To serve, remove the cooked food from the skewers (discard the cucumber slices, if desired) and arrange on platters in rows.

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Recipe Source

From columnist David Hagedorn.

Tested by David Hagedorn.

E-mail questions to the Food Section.

E-mail questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.

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Ingredients are too variable for a meaningful analysis.

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