January 23rd, 2009

Here We Go Kabob-ing

Kabobs are fantastic as a meal or even appetizers.


At our huge family shindig we set them out and let the people decide.

Kinda like a democracy. But not.

Here are Sandy’s thoughts on creating the perfect kabobs. We used tenderloin tips that were so, so tender. Pay close attention to Sandy’s tip about soaking the wooden skewers. Advice worth its weight in gold!

Tenderloin Kabobs

One of the ways to save money while you are eating great is to maximize your usage of your groceries.  Although perhaps an obvious point, take it to the extreme.  Buy a great cut of meat like a whole tenderloin.  To insure even cooking, you will want the piece to be symmetrical, which because it is a natural product, means you will have to trim off the ‘tail’ end.  And if you have access to a wholesale tenderloin, you will also trim the ‘chain’ meat.  What to do with all of these trimmings?  Have a great ‘second’ meal with your delicious meat – make kabobs!  Kabob-ing also stretches your budget by adding lower cost items (veggies) and decreasing the portion size of the meat. 

Kabobs also work with less tender cuts of meat, but you will have to marinate the meat overnight to make it tender.  Kabobs made with tenderloin tips are quick and easy to put together, and any marinating should be brief and just to enhance flavor.  An important tip if you are using wooden skewers – SOAK them for about ½ hour in water before you skewer anything with them – lay them in a 9×13 pan and just cover with water before you start prepping anything else.  If you don’t soak them, they will burn and disintegrate on the grill and all of your subsequent work will be wasted – still tasty, but not so pretty.

Tenderloin Kabobs

For 4 People

1# Tenderloin Tips or Sirloin

Vegetables, including sweet onion, garlic cloves, multi-colored bell peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, zucchini or corn on the cob would also be tasty and pretty. Also possible would be par cooked root vegetables, such as red potatoes or carrots.


Cut the meat into about 1 in chunks.  Season the meat well with salt, pepper, garlic and/or onion powder or your favorite steak seasoning.  Cut the vegetables into appropriate sized chunks, probably a little larger than the meat.  If you are using red potatoes or carrots, cook them briefly in boiling water until they can be just pierced with the sharp tip of a knife.  Toss all of your vegetables in a large bowl with a few tablespoons of oil, olive or your favorite, and season well with your favorite seasonings.  There is no rule for how to skewer the shish kabobs, but variety is always pretty.  Even people who may not eat the red peppers or onions still may appreciate how they look on the skewer and how they season the meat as it all cooks together. 


Cook the skewers over a medium high grill until they reach your level of desired doneness.


Serve with a rice pilaf.

If you care to marinate the meat, here is a quick recipe:

1 cup red wine

½ cup fresh herbs

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1-3 cloves fresh chopped garlic (1-2 tsp)

Freshly ground pepper

Combine the ingredients, and pour into quart sized zip bag. Add meat, seal and remove air and refrigerate up to 2 hours, turning every 20 minutes.