There are some nights when you don’t mind spending hours in the kitchen making a meal for yourself and/or your family, but most nights we just want something wholesome, delicious, something everyone can enjoy, and something easy!
Kebabs fit the bill perfectly.
On one trip to Costco, actually right before my birthday, while my husband was picking out the best package of baby back ribs to BBQ for me, I wandered away from the cart (as usual) and found a big package of kielbasa. Now, I realize that this isn’t the healthiest type of meat, most likely filled with nitrates/nitrites, loads of sodium, and who knows what else, but I hadn’t had it in a while so I figured it would be okay this time. The idea of it had me salivating, so I grabbed the 4-pound package and put it in the cart.
Not knowing when I was going to use it, I threw it in the chest freezer and forgot about it. After our trip to Miami (AKA expensive vacation), I had decided to task myself with using all the stuff I had frozen so that we could save money on groceries for a while (except buying fresh produce to supplement the proteins). I instantly remembered about the kielbasa and decided that I was going to make kebabs. I hadn’t had kebabs in I don’t know how long and I couldn’t believe I didn’t think of it earlier.
I did have to think about this ahead of time because I needed to thaw the pre-cooked sausages and pick-up the vegetables I wanted to grill with it, but you could do this the day-of if you really organized yourself, as I did.
I decided that I would add grape/cherry tomatoes, whole mushrooms, bell pepper chunks, and pineapple chunks. On my way to work (since I am lucky enough to have access to a full-sized fridge to store my “lunch” in), I left a little earlier than normal and stopped by the Ralph’s about halfway between home and work. It took me 5-10 minutes to get everything and check-out and I got to work at the same time as always. PERFECT!
I had asked the hubby to cut the kielbasa and soak the skewers when he got home (about 1 hour before I was slated to arrive), which would help me streamline my assembly of the skewers. Let’s just say he did 50% of what I asked…husbands.
But no worries. As soon as I realized the skewers weren’t soaked, I dumped them in a pan of water and got to work washing and cutting the veggies (only cut the bell peppers). I decided to quarter the kielbasa (husband halved them) because the chunks were HUGE and I wasn’t sure that they would BBQ in the same time as the other additions. I definitely DID NOT want burned vegetables.
With each item in a separate dish and the skewers soaked for around 20 minutes, I began to put them together. What’s quite lovely about kebabs is you can make it all the same pattern, or make it different, and it still looks AND tastes great. I had no rhyme or reason to my madness, just that I wanted lots of meat, but not too much, and enough veggies to even it out. Some had more veggies than others, some had more meat than others, but that’s where it’s fun to pick which one you like best!
I did not realize how many skewers 4 pieces of kielbasa was going to make, so it took me just a tad bit longer to assemble, but that means we can cook half and save the other half to make in a day or two. Two dinners in one!
Once I had used up everything, I had the hubby get the barbecue ready. He said it is best to set it at 375-400 degrees Fahrenheit to grill them. The temperature held around there for most of the time, but once we were getting close to the end, we ended up opening the lid more than we should have and it reduced to 350, but that might have been a good idea. We left the skewers on the barbie for about 15-20 minutes before taking them off.
What was great about this easy meal was that we got an emergency call from Jason’s parents that in trying to fix their dimmer, the power had gone out and when they tried to turn it back on, the electrical panel “broke” AKA they needed Jason to help them fix the panel. We were definitely not going to leave them in the dark all night, so I used a fork to get all the great meat and veggies off the skewers and into a glass tupperware dish, and we were on-the-go with our dinner. As Jason has been enjoying the Home Run Derby last night (and was about 4 beers in), he needed me to drive him, so while I drove, he was feeding me delectable bites of kielbasa + pineapple + bell peppers, then mushrooms + tomatoes, and my favorite – kielbasa + pineapple.
I was able to sneak a little for my lunch the next day, but that was a difficult feat. We did save half of the skewers which I will be making tomorrow night for my dinner and I CANNOT wait!
Since I haven’t really written the word “kebab” in a while, I decided to look up the spelling to make sure I got it right. Just in case you are second-guessing my spelling, here’s the word in the dictionary…
ke·bab noun \kə-ˈbäb also ˈkā-ˌ\
: a dish made by pushing a long, thin stick (called a skewer) through pieces of meat and vegetables and cooking them on a grill
: cubes of meat (as lamb or beef) marinated and cooked with vegetables usually on a skewer
Variants of KEBAB: ke·bab or ke·bob also ka·bob
Origin of KEBAB: ultimately from Arabic or Persian kabāb, from Turkish kebap
First Known Use: 1673
(“Kebab.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 15 July 2014. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kebab>.)