Kebabs!

Kebabs and Rice - wow!

It’s summer here in Southeast Asia!  For us foodies, it’s that time of year when we bring the barbecue grills out of storage to do some fantastic outdoor cooking.  For most Filipinos, the word barbecue is synonymous with skewered chunks of pork or chicken pieces soaked in a reddish marinade (tomato sauce if you know what you’re about in the kitchen / tomato ketchup if you’re pressed for time).  This season, why don’t you try something new by turning standard-issue barbecue into zesty-tasting kebabs?

The word kebab itself is a misnomer as far as the cooking method is concerned as it actually means fried in Arabic rather than grilled.  However, when the Turks invented  shish kebabi (shish being Turkish for “skewer”), the name stuck and the dish’s most common form involves skewered meat grilled over hot coals.

 

The recipe I am sharing with you today offers tantalizing flavors and aromas from Morocco as it uses the classic North African spice blend ras al-hanout.  You can buy the stuff from your local specialty grocer or deli (Your best bet would be the Indian groceries along UN Avenue in Manila or Santi’s.), or click here to make your own spice rub at home.

 

Kebabs Marrakesh

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons kalamansi or lemon juice
  • ras al-hanout or your spices of choice
  • 1 kilo pork tenderloin or chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • bamboo skewers soaked in water
Combine the oil, juice, and garlic in a non-reactive bowl; spread the spice mix over a plate.  Toss the meat chunks in the oil mixture, then roll in the spices until well-covered.  Set aside for an hour.  Thread the meat chunks onto the skewers; for visual and textural interest, you may thread vegetables between the meat chunks.  Grill over hot coals until done; alternatively, you may choose to cook the kebabs in a turbo-broiler or a conventional oven.
Serve with rice and a tangy salad.  I think beer, not wine, would be a great beverage to have with these kebabs.

3 thoughts on “Kebabs!

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