Every once in a while I get a reminder of exactly why I started this site. After an interesting discussion on Facebook, my good pal Kathy T agreed to share her first experience grilling kabobs via a guest post. Prior to this site, I’d frequently find myself coaching friends through meals, either over the phone or IM. Now I frequently tell people, “It’s in the index.” I’ll let Kathy tell the story (spoiler: they were edible).
Kathy T says:
Home Ec 101 is a site near and dear to my heart because I’m not the best cook around nor am I a skilled housekeeper. I prefer showing kitchens to home buyers over demonstrating my culinary skills to my family. (A live-in mother-in-law who used to be a cook and a dietician is a handy addition to a household.)
However, every now and then I do get a wild hair and want to do the cooking myself -perhaps it’s from watching hours of Top Chef. I decided I wanted to try making kabobs … and sadly I’m not 100 percent certain that’s the right word for skewering meat and veggies and grilling them out. Lucky for me Heather is my Facebook friend, so she gave me some quick tips.
First, soak the wooden skewers in water … I presume to prevent them from catching on fire.
I had earlier shopped for the ingredients: steak, squash, zucchini, red peppers, yellow peppers, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes. I raided my cabinet and refrigerator and also found some garlic and onion powder (what can I say… I think canned and bottled stuff will do in a pinch). I also dug out the soy sauce, sugar (I didn’t have honey) and olive oil to make the marinate.
I tried to evenly cut my veggies and beef to be about the same size (one square inch) so they’d cook at the same speed. When the veggies were chopped, I put them in a big bag and tackled the sauce to marinate them in. Heather went into some detail about how much of this and that to mix … I just kind of threw the ingredients together and whisked like a madwoman. But for prosperity’s sake, here’s what she said:
In a jar put 1/4 cup soy sauce, a TBSP of honey, a good squeeze of lime (even the fake if you have to), chop up some onion and garlic, add a 1/4 of olive oil, let the meat marinate a bit. Reserve some before you touch the raw meat to brush the kebabs with.
(Heather interjects to note that this was a Facebook wall comment nothing I expected to see again later)
I didn’t have any fresh lime or lime juice, so that citrus twang was omitted. Meanwhile, I thought I was supposed to marinate everything so I poured the sauce into the bag. I thought bagging everything was kind of a genius move because I could shake it to coat everything. (See the carrot salt & pepper shaker? Christmas gift from my brother and his wife that I cherish!)
After I admired my handiwork for a few moments, I got busy cutting the beef.
After searching the bag of veggies … turning it over and over, squishing the veggies aside to look deeper … the lid was located on the counter next to the stove. With my food now soaking, I walked upstairs and told my husband everything was laminating. He looked at me and said, “Marinating?” Yes, that’s what I meant. I hopped back on Facebook and re-read what Heather said and one word jumped out at me,
… let the meat marinate a bit….
Oh holy crap. I quickly checked, she was still online, so the IM flew to her, “Am I not supposed to marinate the veggies???”
She assured me that although it was only the meat that was supposed to be marinating, the veggies would be okay if they didn’t soak too long. I hurried back downstairs and snipped a hole in the bottom of the bag to drain the veggies. See that tomato wedged down there at the bottom? It made a great stopper.
About four skewers later, I discovered that you can indeed get splinters in your fingers if not careful with the pokes. It made me worry about splinters getting trapped on the veggies and then digesting them, but I didn’t focus too long on that possibility. I just kept working….
Then the meat.
I was very proud to put these on the grill.
And then I waited. I turned them and in my carelessness, I lost a tomato.
It was delicious. I knew we were in for a real treat.
I would’ve cooked the veggies for about 30 minutes before adding the meat. I would’ve bought two packages of mushrooms and done only one pepper. I think I’d still marinate the vegetables because they were terribly good.
And I’d put on some makeup next time so I could post an awesome picture of me cooking. You know… as proof that I do cook every now and then. And it’s not always bad.
No, Kathy, thank you.