From the Kitchen: Kick off the summer with kebabs

Essential reporting in volatile times.

Not a Subscriber yet? Click here to take advantage of All access digital limited time offer $5.99 per month EZ Pay.

Interested in Donating? Click #ISupportLocal for more information on supporting local journalism.


Hello summer! Are we ever glad to see you! Warm days are coming and you may want to have a cookout to usher in our sunny season.

Do you always dutifully follow the directions for kebobs, threading all the ingredients onto the skewer? Or do you cook the ingredients off the skewer, either by stir-frying or roasting, eliminating the constant turning on the grill?

I find it hard sometimes to determine if anything is cooking through the center, especially if it’s stacked too close together on the short pole. The outsides then can get too done.

I conquered the often still-too-crisp vegetables that darken before the meat, by microwaving them first about a minute before threading.

But then I fell into the lazy mode and, being in a hurry one day, threw marinated shrimp intended for impaling, into a wok with a little oil and had them done in four minutes sans any sticks.

It was in a Pittsburgh restaurant that I first encountered actual shish kebabs. They were tender, but the marinade was too tangy.

I thought all kebabs would have that same flavor and avoided both ordering and preparing them until the gas company sent a recipe.

For those who don’t know, in earlier days the United Fuel Gas Company always sent a recipe with their invoice. I’ve enjoyed several from them, their shish kebab being one.

I decided to give it a try, since it looked like the marinade wouldn’t have too much sharpness. I did change the vinegar from cider to red wine. And it has been my go-to ever since.

You can make kebabs if you want. But when no one is looking, just marinate any meat (preferably steak) or poultry piece you desire in today’s recipe and cook it on a stovetop grill, griddle, outdoor flattop or give it a bake.

Speaking of kebabs, if any of you out there have even a slight idea how Ayman, owner of Aladdin Restaurant, makes his Shish Tawook Chicken, please let me in on the secret. It will save me taking him hostage until he confesses the ingredients.

Look ahead to a perfect summer. It has been earned!