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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Marinated Steak Kebabs

How is it possible that it is almost September?  I'm not ready for summer to end.

Caitie has already gone back to school.  Yesterday was move-in day.  It's unsettling to think that she is over 400 miles away.  

There have been lots of preparations for the move during the past few weeks; lots of purchases and checking lists and more purchases and last-minute runs to buy more things that we forgot to buy during all the shopping excursions.  And there are still items we forgot to buy.

Like this colander, which I bought for her today, after speaking to her last night and hearing her describe how she had to drain her pasta by spooning it out of the pot because we forgot to buy her a colander.

The colander went into the care package I put together for her today, the first of many care packages that I'll send to her throughout the year. 

There are some really cool things in the care package, but since she reads this blog I can't share anything else with you because it will ruin the surprise. 

And maybe, just maybe, she will cook a recipe or two from this blog, and not just mac 'n cheese.  Oh, that's right, I forgot to mention that the pasta she was cooking was from a package of Kraft macaroni and cheese dinner.  And I should also mention that I'm not dissing her because she cooked Kraft dinner because I certainly cooked lots of it during my college days.  I'm just saying this:  Caitie-pie-honey-bunch, if you're reading this, you should consider cooking some of the recipes in this blog because a lot of your favorites are on here and all the how-to's and how-much's are all written out for you, dear.  Love, Mom.

And Caitie, while we're communicating here, I may as well tell you that the fabric you picked out for the pillowcase I am going to make you is at this stage in the process:

In other words, not a pillowcase yet.  But you may not be able to tell by the picture that I have already washed the fabric to pre-shrink it and I have ironed it.  So there's been progress.  Now I just have to cut it, and sew it, and decoratively trim it.

When the fabric grows up it will resemble the pillowcases I have made you in the past, I promise.  Probably more like the one on the right, as I am planning on crocheting white trim.  Unless you prefer white pom poms.  Love, Mom.

Okay, I digress no more.  On to today's recipe.  Marinated Steak Kebabs.

You can use whatever type of steak looks best at your market.  If I had my choice, it would be top sirloin, about 1 1/2" thick, cut into cubes.  Second choice, New York Sirloin, ditto.  Of course, tenderloin is also good, but it's a shame to cut such a fine piece of beef into cubes.  Sirloin tip steak and flank steak also work.

As luck would have it, when I went to purchase the steak for this recipe, the only types of the above-mentioned steaks in the meat case were tenderloin, sirloin tips and flank steak.  I nixed the tenderloin (see above) and the sirloin tips (I've cooked sirloin tips twice in the last two weeks) and went with the flank steak.

All of the other types of steak can be cut into cubes, but flank steak is special because of the grain of the beef.  It needs to be sliced diagonally, about a half inch thick, and then threaded onto the skewers.  The good news is that because you slice it thinner, it cooks faster than the larger cubes of other types of steaks. 

Gosh, have I totally confused you?  I hope not.  See the accompanying pictures and hopefully the visuals will explain better than my words. 

Today's Playlist
  • "Almost Like Being In Love"....Frank Sinatra
  • "Roman Guitar (Chitarra Romana)"........Lou Monte
  • "Sway"......Michael Buble
  • "Beyond The Sea".......Bobby Caldwell
  • "Wonderful World"...Sam Cooke
  • "That's Amore"....Lou Monte
  • "Ain't That A Kick In The Head"...Dean Martin
  • "Come Go With Me"........The Del-Vikings
  • "This Old Heart Of Mine"......The Isley Brothers
  • "Pennies From Heaven".......Frank Sinatra

Marinated Steak Kebabs
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • juice of one lemon (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
for Kebabs:
  • 2 pounds sirloin cut into cubes, or flank steak, sliced against the grain into slices 1/2" thick
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, quartered and separated into pieces
10 oz. white or baby bella mushrooms, whole (if small)  or cut in half (if large)
Gather your ingredients. 
Whisk together your marinade ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.  The wine and oil....... 
.....lemon juice....... sauce and Worcestershire sauce..... 
......and Dijon mustard.   Set aside.  Trim visible fat from the beef.
Cut your beef into 1 1/2" to 2" cubes, or if you are using flank steak, slice diagonally against the grain into slices about 1/2" thick.
Like this. 
Cut your onion into quarters.

Separate the layers.

Cut your pepper into 2-inch pieces.  If the mushrooms are large, cut them in half.
Place the beef into the bottom of a large shallow dish.  Put the veggies on top of the beef.
Take the bowl of marinade which you've whisked together........ 
.....and pour it onto the veggies and beef.  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.  You can prep this and refrigerate it up to six hours in advance; if you do refrigerate it for more than an hour, however, you should stir it occasionally--about once every one to two hours or so.
When you're ready to cook, heat your grill to high.  Thread the beef and vegetables onto (about 8) metal skewers.  (If using wooden skewers, make sure you soak them in water so they don't ignite!)  If using flank steak, carefully thread the beef lengthwise onto the skewer as evenly as possible.

Grill the kebabs to desired doneness, turning halfway through.  Because it's sliced so thin, flank steak will cook much quicker (about 5 to 6 minutes) than steak that is cut into 1 1/2 to 2 inch cubes (about 7 to 9 minutes).

Remove the kebabs from the skewers, and serve with your favorite sides.  In this case, rice pilaf and (though it's hard to see) Rachael Ray's Roasted Tomato Salad With Pine Nuts and Blue Cheese.

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