June 21, 2024
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June 21, 2024
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Grilling Like an Israeli

Somehow it has become a custom in Israel to begin grilling on Yom Ha’atzmaut and continue on through the summer. As much as we all like our falafel and hummus and tchina, you can walk through the streets and smell the chicken and meats cooking!

Skewered Meat

Shish kebab, kebab, shashlik. For those who become confused by the words, the “Food Lover’s Companion” states that kebab, shish kebab and shashlik are used interchangeably and are the chunks of meat placed on a skewer. Sikh is the Arabic word for skewer.

Here are some tips and recipes for grilling on a skewer.

1. Flat or square skewers will keep food from revolving.

2. If you spray the grill before cooking with vegetable spray, foods will not stick.

3. Partially cook vegetables before threading on a skewer so foods cook in the same amount of time.

Here’s a recipe for potatoes and meat on a stick.

Meat and Potatoes Shishlik

6 servings

  1. 2 pounds cubed beef
  2. 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  3. ¼ cup olive oil
  4. 1 T. Dijon mustard
  5. 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
  6. 2 T. soy sauce
  7. 1 T. cilantro or parsley
  8. 12 small red or white potatoes
  9. 2 small onions, quartered

1. In a plastic bag, combine balsamic vinegar, oil, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and meat. Close and let marinade 2 hours or refrigerated 8 hours.

2. Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes. Drain and place in a bowl.

3. Pour off some marinade into the bowl of potatoes and toss.

4. Thread six skewers with meat cube, potato, meat cube, onion quarter, meat cube, potato, meat cube. Thread remaining potatoes and onions on extra skewers.

5. Grill skewers 3 inches from the heat 5 minutes on each side (for medium rare), more for well cooked, basting with marinade before turning.

Lamb Kebab

6 servings

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 T. red wine vinegar
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • 1 ½ t. Dijon mustard
  • 3 pounds cubed lamb
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 green peppers
  • 2 quartered onions
  • 12 mushrooms
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro

1. Place olive oil, vinegar, garlic, mustard and lamb in a plastic bag, close, shake and set aside.

2. Core and seed peppers, cut into 1×2-inch pieces. Add to marinade along with mushrooms. Place in refrigerator at least 4 hours.

3. Place onion quarters on a plate and brush with some of the marinade. Thread meat on skewers, alternating with vegetables and allowing 3 pieces of lamb per skewer.

4. Grill 3 inches from the heat for 5 minutes per side for medium rare, brushing with marinade when turning.

Grilled Vegetables

8 servings

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • 2 t. Dijon mustard
  • ½ t. basil or oregano or Italian seasoning
  • 2 quartered red onions
  • 1 red bell pepper cut in 1 ½ inch strips
  • 1 green pepper cut in 1 ½ inch strips
  • 4 halved plum tomatoes or
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • 4 squash cut in ½ inch pieces
  • 1 eggplant cut in ½ inch pieces

1. In a plastic bag, combine olive oil, wine vinegar, garlic, mustard and spices. Add vegetables, close bag, toss and let marinate at least 3 hours.

2. Using one skewer for each vegetable. Thread onto skewers allowing ½ inch between each. Grill 3 inches from heat source 3 to 5 minutes, carefully turning. Place marinade in a bowl. Slide vegetables off skewers into marinade and toss.

Sybil Kaplan is a journalist, author, compiler/editor of nine kosher cookbooks and food writer for North American Jewish publications, who lives in Jerusalem, where she leads weekly walks of the Jewish food market, Machaneh Yehudah, in English.

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