The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

July 18, 2012

Kabobs for all tastes

Karen Freeman

TARBORO — There is almost no end to what you can cook on a stick. If you can cook it and it's solid, you can skewer it and grill it. That applies to meat, veggies, fruit, bread and even tofu! So, use your imagination to come up with great combinations. The only rule is that you want the items on the kabobs to be about the same size so that they will cook at the same rate.

Our first recipe is chicken kabob with rosemary. It will smell great and taste great. I have a huge rosemary bush in my front yard and I love to walk by run my hands over it.

Our second recipe is basil shrimp. This is marinated for about an hour. Don't leave it in any longer than that or the acid in the lemon juice will cook your shrimp! This is an easy and quick dish that you will enjoy for years to come.

The third dish is Asian beef. It uses Bok Choy, but it's optional and I don't usually use it because it's too hard to find in my little town. It has a lot of complex flavors but is easy to make.

The fourth recipe is chicken with mushrooms and plums or peaches. I like the plums but you can do it either way.

The next recipe is ham and pineapple and it's my favorite combination. I like it on pizza and I like it on kabobs. I think you will like it too. Give it a try.

Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup ranch dressing

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon lemon juice    

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste

1 tablespoon white sugar, or to taste (optional)

5 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1 inch cubes

In a medium bowl, stir together the olive oil, ranch dressing, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, salt, lemon juice, white vinegar, pepper, and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes. Place chicken in the bowl, and stir to coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the grill for medium-high heat. Thread chicken onto skewers and discard marinade.

Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill skewers for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, and the juices run clear.

Basil Shrimp Skewers

2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 1/2 lemons, juiced

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/2 cup minced fresh basil leaves

3 cloves garlic, minced

Salt to taste

White pepper

3 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined


In a shallow, non-porous dish or bowl, mix together olive oil and melted butter. Stir in lemon juice, mustard, basil, and garlic, and season with salt and white pepper. Add shrimp, and toss to coat. Cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat grill to high heat. Remove shrimp from marinade, and thread onto skewers. Discard marinade.

Lightly oil grill grate, and arrange skewers on preheated grill. Cook for 4 minutes, turning once, or until opaque.

Asian Beef Kabobs

1 pound beef tenderloin, cut into 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inch cubes

3 sweet corn, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

8 baby Bok Choy (optional)

2 red, orange, and/or yellow sweet peppers, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons peanut oil

2 tablespoons orange juice

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes

Place beef cubes, corn, Bok Choy, if desired, and sweet peppers in a very large resealable plastic bag.

In a small bowl combine soy sauce, oil, orange juice and cayenne pepper. Add to bag; seal bag and turn to coat. Place in a large shallow baking dish and marinate in the refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours, turning bag occasionally.

Drain beef mixture, discarding marinade. If using, carefully thread Bok Choy onto a 12-inch wooden* or metal skewer. Thread beef, corn and sweet pepper pieces alternately onto 8 12-inch wooden or metal skewers.

For a charcoal grill, grill beef skewers on rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 15 to 18 minutes or until beef is of desired doneness, turning occasionally. Add Bok Choy skewer the last 10 minutes of grilling and turn occasionally. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Add skewers to grill rack; cover and grill as above.)

Tip: If using wooden skewers, soak in water for 1 hour before using. If using wooden skewers, it is helpful to pierce the corn first with a metal skewer or a paring knife before threading.

Mushroom Plum Chicken Skewers

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch cubes

16 button mushrooms

8 green onions, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

4 firm, ripe plums or 3 peaches, cut into wedges

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons canola oil

1/4 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper

On 8 12-inch metal or bamboo skewers, alternately thread chicken, mushrooms, green onions and plums. In a small bowl stir together vinegar and oil; brush on kabobs.

For a charcoal grill, place skewers on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 12 to 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, with no pink remaining, turning once halfway through grilling time. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place skewers on a grill rack over heat. Cover and grill as above.)

Transfer skewers to serving platter; sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Ham and Pineapple Kabobs

1 lb. cooked ham, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 (8-oz) can pineapple chunks in unsweetened juice, drained

8 cherry tomatoes

3/4 cup red currant jelly

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

Heat grill. Alternately thread ham, pineapple and tomatoes onto four 10-inch metal skewers. In small microwave-safe bowl, combine jelly and mustard. Microwave on HIGH for 1 to 2 minutes or until jelly melts. Stir to combine. Brush 3 to 4 tablespoons jelly mixture over kabobs.

When ready to grill, place kabobs on gas grill over medium heat or on charcoal grill 4 to 6 inches from medium coals. Cook 10 to 12 minutes or until thoroughly heated, turning once. Serve with remaining jelly mixture.

Makes 4 servings