"Shish" (or sis) simply refers to any grilled meat. Kabob (kebap) is a skewer. Shish Kabab is not only popular in Turkey but it is also extremely popular throughout Europe, particularly in Germany and the UK where Kabobs are a readily available "fast-food." Variations of "kabobs" can be found throughout the Middle-East, Europe and South Asia. In Turkey, traditionally lamb has been the meat of choice for kabobs but nowadays chicken, beef and fish have become very popular. Due to the large number of Muslims in Turkey, pork is not used. Shish kebabs are typically made of both meat and vegetables. Perhaps the most favored vegetable is eggplant, but onions, tomatoes and bell peppers. Actually a wide variety of vegetables are suitable for grilling, including tomatoes, zucchini and even marinaded artichoke hearts. If tomatoes are used, it is best to use 1 1/2 - 2 inch tomatoes as cherry tomatoes will cook much faster than the other vegetables and meet. Unless you enjoy rather crunchy bell peppers, it is a good idea to parboil the cut up pieces for 2 minutes before skewering them (after they have cooled a bit). If you use bamboo skewers, be sure to soak them in water 30 minutes before using them otherwise they will burn and even catch fire! Actually I my experience metal skewers are preferable as they usually have flattened points that generally prevent vegetables like zucchinis and mushrooms from splitting when you skewer them. Bamboo skewers are perhaps more appropriate for Asian treats like Japanese yaki-tori or Indonesian, Malaysian and Thai sate.
- 2 pounds of Lamb, Beef, Chicken or Firm Fish
- 1 lb of each vegetable (more or less according to your desires).
- Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces and then marinade it for 4-24 hours (the longer the better) in your refrigerator.
Please note that this is a rather "all-purpose" marinade with somewhat authentic ingredients. There are an enormous number of possible variations, additions and subtractions. As the old Cole Porter song says EXPERIMENT! You can even buy pre-marinaded meats which make everything easier and quicker! Google "Shish Kebab Marinade" if you want to try what others have tried.
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 medium tomato, diced finely (3/4 cup)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme
- 1/4 tablespoon pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Before cooking, brush your charcoal or gas grill with a light coating of oil to prevent sticking.
- Cut vegetables into large bite sized pieces.
- Skewer the marinaded meat and vegetables in any order you desire, but it helps to figure out a pattern (zucchini, meat, tomato, mushroom, meat, eggplant, bell pepper, meat etc.)
- Barbecue over a medium level heat until the meat is lightly browned on all sides.
*If you wish to brush marinade on during cooking, make sure that you cook your skewered meat and vegetables for an extra two minutes on each side after the last brush of marinade.
Serve with Basmati rice, Lavash or Pita Bread. A mint/yogurt dressing is also a nice addition.
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