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A BBQ guide to kebabs

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Author: Katie Mae Hewitson

Cooking chicken on a BBQ

BBQ kebabs
Kebabs


What to BBQ – the Kebab
Another BBQ favourite is the Kebab!
Whether you like lamb, chicken, steak or
pure vegetables on your kebab,
barbecuing them is the hands down way
to cook them ! Although stainless steel
skewers are the best , they are often
more expensive then their counterpart
the wooden skewer.

If kebab making is a recurrent dish in your
family then the investment will definitely
be worth it. But if you’re like me and only like a kebab here and there then the wooden option is for you. Be sure to soak them in warm water for at least 25 minutes prior to placing them on your grill or you might just be having a bit more flame on your food then you bargained for ! Soaking them will keep the dried out wood from becoming engulfed in flames while cooking!

Using fresh vegetable is an excellent way to add flavour and give a crisp crunch to your kebab but if you are looking for a completely cooked veg, remember you can always partially boil your veg, place them on the skewer with your favourite meat and finish the cooking off on the grill . Marinades are also a good idea if you have planned ahead. Placing the meat in a sealed bag or large bowl over night will give you a kick of flavour.

Things to remember when barbecuing kebabs

1. Buy quality cuts of meat and fresh vegetables for your kebabs, cheap steak will be fatty and chewy not very pleasant for your guests.

2. Wash your vegetables before adding them to the skewers; no one wants to taste dirt

3. Don't cook the kebabs on a direct heat, try to keep them on a higher level to other meats if this is not possible you will need to keep brushing them with water ...WHY? every item on the kebab has a different cooking time take mushrooms and steak for example mushrooms don't take very long to cook but the steak needs 5 x as long to cook; cooking the perfect kebab is not as easy as you may think!

4. Keep applying marinades and sauces; this will help protect the delicate items such as mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, courgettes and peppers.

5. Turn the kebabs regularly but carefully as the kebab can easily snap (wooden sticks) or items can fall off if handled without care.

6. Serve the kebabs as soon as they are ready, each item on the kebab has a different cooling time, serve the kebabs straight from the BBQ to ensure everything stays HOT.

Looking for more then just your average veg-meat-veg-meat kebab?
Here are a few of my favourite recipes to go on the grill.

Kebabs on the BBQ
Spicy chicken kebabs

What you will need:
3 cloves of chopped garlic
knob of fresh roughly chopped ginger
1 orange to zest
3 chopped spring onions
2 tbsp honey
1tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp veg oil
4 skinless boneless chicken breast cubed
20 button mushrooms
20 cherry tomatos
2 large red peppers seeded and cut into 10 pieces

In a food processor place the garlic, ginger, orange zest and spring onions a grind until a paste is formed.
Then add the honey, juice from the orange , soy sauce and oil and process.
Over the raw chicken place the mixture and place in the refrigerator and marinate for overnight. The next day after the chicken has marinated place the mushrooms in as the last min, giving them about 20 minutes to absorb some of the flavour.
After your wooden skewers have soaked for at least 25 minutes, it s time to assemble your kebabs!
Place the chicken tomatoes, mushrooms and peppers onto the skewer in an alternating pattern. Cook the kebabs on your BBQ until the chicken has been completely cooked.
Be sure to brush on some of your marinate from time to time between turns.

Although served cold the next recipe is one of my all time favourites to enjoy with a group of friends. They are easy and simple to make and leave a lasting impression.

Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Skewers

What you will need:
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
20 fresh basil leaves
20 mini mozzarella balls
salt and pepper
100 ml balsamic vinegar
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
cocktail sticks

With one of your cocktail sticks place a tomato halve, a folded basil leaf, then add a mozzarella ball and finish with another halve of tomato. Repeat this process for the remaining ingredients. When finish salt and pepper, and then place on a platter with a small bowl.
In the bowl add the vinegar and oil or skip the bowl altogether and drizzle over the skewers prior to serving. This is a quick and easy way to give your guest a little taste of what’s to follow!

For an international flavour why not try

Thai Pork Kebabs

You will need the following:
200ml coconut cream
1 tbsp Thai green curry paste
2 tsp light muscovado sugar
½ lime juice
2tsp thai fish sauce or light soy sauce
800g lean pork fillets cut into cubes
3 medium red onions cut into wedges
3 limes cut into wedges

Mix the first 5 ingredients together in a bowl.
Next mix in the pork cubes and leave to marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
The next day, assemble your kebabs and cook!
Place the pork followed by red onion and a lime wedge repeat the process alternating between foods until all your skewers are full and are ready to be cooked.

For a vegetarian twist when it comes to the BBQ , why not try

Halloumi Kebabs

What you will need:
200g halloumi cheese cut into cubes
8 cherry tomatoes
8 button mushrooms
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano

Add all of these ingredients together and add salt and pepper to taste.
Thread onto skewer in alternating pattern then grill for 5-6 mins.

If your looking for a little more zing to these kebabs try them topped with:

Salsa Verde

What you will need:
Bunch of chopped parsley leaves
Bunch of chopped basil
Bunch of chopped mint
2 tbsp drained capers
2 roughly chopped garlic cloves
½ tsp Dijon mustard
100ml olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor add all of the above ingredients except for the olive oil and blend.
As you bland slowly add the oil until you have a loose paste.
Spread the paste onto your kebabs and enjoy!

Fancy a kebab for dessert? Yes I said dessert!

Chop up some of your favourite fruits and place them on a skewer.
Serve with fruit yoghurt or by itself.

Worried about your apples and pears turning brown if you make them ahead of time? Not to worry just use a spray bottle filled with orange juice. The acidity in the orange juice stops the fruit from changing colours and also adds a natural fresh flavour.
Are you a fan of chocolate and strawberries? Sticking with your kebab theme, place some cleaned fresh strawberries on the end of cocktail sticks and serve with a dipping bowl full of freshly melted chocolate!