Cooky Jason’s July Recipe – Mini Kabobs

Chef Jason’s World Famous Mini Kabobs

mini kabob 3

Who doesn’t like kabobs? We’re in full camping swing now and it’s high time we get into some grilling action. And kabobs are just plain fun. These… are minis. More of an appetizer, really. The key to making these special is in the fresh herbs. There are countless marinades. You can play mad scientist and come up with all manner of concoctions. The idea here is to have fun with it and experiment. (I actually brined mine for the 4th of July BBQ I just hosted.)

Major Players

  • 2 to 3lbs Beef and/or pork – London broil is really great, but sometimes I even use New York Strip or rib eye (my personal favorite). (2lbs will make 25 to 30 kabobs)
  • 1 cup salt, and ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • 5 sprigs rosemary
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Fresh sage leaves
  • 1lb raspberries
  • Tbsp course ground pepper
  • 6 or 7 garlic cloves crushed, and 1 large onion
  • 2lbs small to medium white button or crimini mushrooms
  • 3 inch toothpicks (they come in lots of sizes)

OK, the fun stuff:

First we’ll start with the brine. This is pretty simple; don’t be intimidated by brining. It’s like marinating, but with more science involved. Boil the salt and sugar in 6 cups of water until dissolved; it will only take a few minutes. Let that cool. Then add your meat, whole and uncut, to a large stock pot. Add the dissolved sugar/salt mixture and fill the rest with cold water until meat is covered. Then add garlic, rosemary, and onion. Give it a gentle stir, cover, and refrigerate 12 to 24 hours.

Remove meat from brine and discard brine.  Let rest for at least 5 minutes. Heat grill to medium high. Slice mushrooms in half and sauté them in 1 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsps. butter in a foil pack or disposable aluminum baking pan on the grill. (They come in various sizes and are perfect for this.) At the same time, throw the meat on, too. Grill until done, roughly 5 minutes per side for beef and 4 minutes per side for pork. The meat will be done before the mushrooms, which is fine. Once everything is cool enough to handle, cut the meat into half-inch cubes. Now it’s time for the fun. You can even get the kids in on this. And it really is the sage and basil that make these special, so don’t skip it. You can skip the brine if you like, but not the herbs. Trust me on this… Here’s the stacking order, from top to bottom: Raspberry/mushroom/folded basil and sage leaves/meat. It’s that simple. Cut your lemon in half and squeeze over all the kabobs once completed. Crowd-pleaser? I think so…

Questions/comments/requests/suggestions/limericks/thoughts on life/childhood stories? Feel free to drop me a line at jasonr@pahaque.com.

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