I'm Dis-kabab-ulated

For starters, is it kebab or kabob? It turns out that either is correct. It all depends on where you are. Chunks of meat, or ground meat? Once again, it’s either. Meat, chicken, fish? Again, it’s pretty much anything you want. It’s not the content, it a method. Here comes the big one… ingredients mixed on the skewer, or separated?

We are a house divided. I grew up in a family that alternated the meat and vegetables. (Yes, there was occasionally fruit when we had Spam Hawaiian kebabs — it was out of my control.) . When I was young, we each got to “craft” our own kebab, adding our preferred ingredients in the sequence we wanted.

Markipedia’s family didn’t do kebabs, poor boy, He had to figure them out on his own as an adult. He quickly decided each skewer should be all one type of thing. A skewer of meat, a separate skewer for each vegetable.

This is one of those moments in which I had to decide, “Is this a battle worth fighting?” In the end, no – it’s not. Though I would love to have the flavors of one ingredient meld with the others, I now do it Mark’s way. I do not suffer terribly. While my method is prettier, his make sense, as meats and vegetables have different cooking times. For families with children, my version may be more fun.

This week, we did the simplest of kebabs, Mark-style of course. The only marinade was olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. We had beautiful fresh ingredients from the market, and this was their moment to shine without additions.

We had a very interesting red wine with the kebabs — a Gigondas from Provence. You can read a bit more about that on the Provence WineZine.

Remember, when in a relationship, consider your battles. Sometimes they aren’t even worth fighting. And who knows? Once in a rare while your loving spouse may be right!

- David

Lamb Kebabs

2 lamb steaks (about 2 pounds) 
2 yellow bell peppers
2 zucchini
8 small tomatoes or 16 grape tomatoes
extra virgin olive oil
lemons, for juice and wedges for serving

salt and freshly ground pepper
plain rice or rice pilaf, for serving 

Trim the lamb steaks and cut them into 1 1/2-inch cubes.

Trim the bell peppers, and cut them into 1 1/2-inch squares.

Trim the ends from the zucchini, and cut them into 1/2 inch thick discs.

Place the ingredients on the skewers being careful not to push them together too tight. (If they are too tight, they will steam rather than grill.)

Place the skewers on large rimmed cookie sheets. Drizzle them liberally with olive oil while you turn them. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the tops, season well with salt and pepper, and let them marinate at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes.

Preheat the grill — gas or charcoal.

When the grill is ready, make sure the meat and vegetables are well coated with oil and lemon juice. Place the meat on the grill first, as it has the longest cooking time. Add the other vegetables a while afterwards, putting them at a slightly cooler place on the grill. Turn the skewers until all ingredients are done - approximately 5-8 minutes.

Slide the meat and vegetables off their skewers onto a platter. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve with rice/rice pilaf.

Serves 6.

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