We’ve been having a bit of a heatwave here in Los Angeles. This past week, we’ve been seeing temperatures over 100°F. I’ve been threatening to head back to Atlanta for some reprieve, but it’s been over 90°F there and then there’s the humidity. All that to say, after a cool start to the Summer, Summer has finally arrived.
When it does, I say embrace it. Fire up that BBQ grill and get grillin’! Instead of doing burgers and hotdogs for a get-together, sometimes I like to mix it up a bit and make Shish Kabobs….or Kabobs or Kababs or Kabebs. No matter how you spell it, these Tiny Kitchen Big Taste Shish Kabobs will please most anyone.
Make Kabobs in Advance
One of the things that I like most about making Kabobs for a get-together with friends is that you can prepare everything in advance so that when your friends come over, you’re not stuck in the kitchen.
The morning before your BBQ (or even the night before), you can marinate the meat, prepare all the vegetables and put them all on the skewers. It’s actually kinda fun! Place the prepared skewers on a plate, cover them up with plastic wrap and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to use them.
What Kind of Meat to Use for Kabobs You can use any kind of meat that you like. Chicken, Beef, Pork, Lamb, you name it, it’s gonna be great. This orange juice and soy sauce marinade is so versatile that you can use it on pretty much anything. It actually makes a great marinade for burgers, too, so keep that in mind.
Most oftentimes, I use chicken or beef. It’s a great choice for weddings and it works perfectly for cookout too! For the meat-eaters out there, at least one of those usually will please most anyone. Plus, during the summer, there is usually a sale on at least one of them…if not both. If you want to save a couple of coins, you can always buy the meat when it’s on sale and freeze it until you’re ready to use it.
For chicken, I like to use Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts. But you can also use Thigh meat too if you want to save a little money.
As for the Beef, Filet Mignon! You want a tender cut of meat for skewers and a Filet works really well. You could also use a Top Sirloin if you like. It’ll save you some money. While it won’t be as tender, it’ll taste just as good!
What Kind of Vegetables to Use for KabobsThe sky is the limit when it comes to veggies. There are a lot of really good grilling vegetables. Of course, the standard is probably bell peppers and onions, but sometimes I like to change it up.
You just need a vegetable that won’t fall apart or become mushy when it cooks.
Two of my favorite grilling vegetables are mushrooms and corn on the cob. I’ll usually cut the corn into 1-2 inch slices. As for the mushrooms, I trim off the base so that it is flush with the bottom of the mushroom cap. You can either skewer them right down the middle or even through the cap itself if you want to make a fancy design on top with a knife.
I also like a spicy veggie skewer as well. Habaneros, jalapenos, chili peppers, I’m a sucker for heat! In order to keep your friends, just be sure to keep the heat on separate skewers!
Keep the Meat and Vegetable on Separate SkewersAlthough it looks nice to alternate between meat and vegetables on the skewers, I like to keep the skewers separate. Really, there are 3 reasons I do that:
- Vegetarians at the BBQ: I know, it sounds like an oxymoron, but vegetarians love cookouts too! So, by keeping the meat and veggies separate, everyone’s palate is pleased!
- Cooking times are different: The veggies usually take a little bit longer to cook and I despise overcooked, dried out meat. By keeping them separate, you can regulate the cooking times more easily and your meat will be super juicy!
- I like charred meat: I love a little color on the meat. When you alternate with vegetables like onions and peppers, they are usually a little bit wider than the meat, which causes the meat to hover over the grill rather than being in contact with it…creating some great grill marks
How to Serve Kabobs
Keep it simple…you’ve already got meat and veggies. Add a starch or two and you’re set!
I like to serve Kabobs over a little rice, which you can also make in advance or just grab one of those handy microwavable packets of rice, like Uncle Ben’s Basmati Rice, and you’ll have hot rice in about 90 seconds.You can also serve it up with some Pita bread, which I usually throw on the grill to warm right after I take the Chicken and Vegetable skewers off. A couple of minutes and you’re good to go! That’ll give the meat a little time to rest so that the juices will redistribute and it will remain super juicy.
Hope you try these kabobs this summer…I think it might just make you a favorite among your friends!
SO WHAT YOU'RE GONNA NEED IS:
- If using Bamboo or Wood Skewers, soak the skewers in water for about 20 minutes.
Marinate the Chicken
- Cut Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast into 1 inch – 1 1/2 inch cubes.
- Place cubes of Chicken in Ziploc Bag
- To the Bag, add Orange Juice, Soy Sauce, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Black Pepper
- Zip Bag. Mix up Bag to make sure everything is thoroughly mixed together.
Prepare the Vegetables
- Cut Green Bell Pepper into 1 inch – 1 1/2 inch squares. (NOTE: watch the video to see an easy way to cut perfect squares)
- Cut Red Bell Pepper into 1 inch – 1 1/2 inch squares.
- Cut Onion into 1 inch – 1 1/2 inch pieces.
Make the Kabobs
- Using pre-soaked Skewers, skewer the cubes of Chicken, piercing the chicken right in the center of the cube, until you have the desired number of cubes on each Skewer. (Note: it works best to skewer the chicken perpendicular to the grain of the meat, that is, “against the grain”)
- Using pre-soaked Skewers, pierce alternating vegetables right in the center with the Skewers, until you have the desired number pieces on the Skewer.
- The vegetables take a bit longer, so start by placing the vegetable Skewers on the grill. Rotate and cook on each side until they begin to char and onions start to turn translucent.
- About 1-2 minutes after you place the Vegetable Skewers on the grill, place the Chicken Skewers on the grill. When the chicken starts to turn opaque on the bottom, turn 1/4 rotation. Cook until all four sides of the chicken cubes are cooked and juices start to run clear.
- Remove Chicken and Vegetables from Grill and Enjoy!