Vlad’s Kebabs

Dearest readers, how have I missed thee.

Apologies for the hiatus. I was too busy to cook the last few weeks, which meant I couldn’t write about cooking.

Our time apart has been well spent, though I did miss all of you. In case you’re curious what kept me, well I was performing in a little play called Othello and I’ve been taking a stand-up comedy class so expect classier jokes in the near future.

My pesky day job is also a thing that keeps me away, but that’s not fun to talk about so I’d rather move on to my next recipe which is chorizo and mushroom kebabs from I Love Spice.

What you’ll need

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 24 slices of chorizo, each about a half inch thick
  • 24 button mushrooms
  • 1 green bell pepper, roasted, peeled, and cut into 24 squares

Kebabs are the best aren’t they? They don’t require a lot of skill. You just grill some stuff and then stab it with a stake.

I dare say this had to be Vlad the Impaler’s favorite meal to cook.

I must caution you readers, however, that when it comes to chorizo we can’t be all Vlad the Impaler about it. We have to choose wisely and pick the right chorizo. Not every chorizo can be impaled. Mexican chorizo, for example is usually grounded and crumbly which means it is unable to be staked.

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Sorry Vlad, you just can’t impale Mexican chorizo

What we want to buy is Spanish chorizo which usually comes cured and dried aka a solid form of sausage.

My neighborhood Vons did not have Spanish chorizo, but they did have longaniza which google has told me is similar to chorizo and even better is in a solid shape that one can hopefully impale.

Now that we got that important info out of the way, the only step that I need to advise you on is roasting your pepper.

I recommend roasting it in an oven with a pan coated in olive oil under 400 for 20 minutes. When the 20 minutes are up, turn the pepper so it can have an even tan and roast for another 20 minutes.

Once this step is over, remove the pepper from the oven and allow it to cool so you can remove the skin and cut it into 24 squares.

While the peppers are cooling you might as well get started on cooking your chorizo. To do so, get a skillet and coat that in olive oil. Heat the skillet under medium heat and then add the chorizo.

Now if you got dried and cured chorizo, you should only need to cook this for 20 seconds, but if you had to substitute like me, you’ll need to cook for a longer amount of time, because 20 seconds is going to give you a health code violation for sure.

Once your meat is cooked throughly, we can add the mushrooms into the skillet. Cook this for 1-2 minutes. You’ll know the mushrooms are ready when they look slightly brown and are glossy just like Vlad after a hard day of impaling people.

Speaking of Vlad, we are now ready for his favorite part! Making the actual kebab!

All you have to do is impale a bell pepper, followed by a mushroom, and then a kebab.

You can use a toothpick to make this more of an appetizer or get your large stake and make it a meal.

The choice is up to you for your enjoyment.

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So as you may have guessed from the professional photo above, I failed. Turns out that longaniza is not easily impaled. It is more solid than Mexican chorizo, but it fell apart when I tried to stab it.

I will say that this combo is tasty one, so if you find the right chorizo do give it a try. Otherwise I recommend making yourself some chorizo and eggs instead of a kebab.

 

Chicken Satay Up Yours, Another Meal Involving Sticks Up Things

I haven’t been following up on the Chinese New Year folks. What is it the year of again? Oh yeah, it’s the year of the Monkey.

Well for my American New Year, so far, it has been the year of the kebab.

If you read my last entry, than you’re probably obsessed with me or hate me, which isn’t mutually exclusive. There’s a fine line between love and hate. There is also a fine fine line between a lover and a friend. Most of Los Angeles struggles with this.

What was the point I was I trying to make before I had to make another point? Oh yeah! If you read my last post, I made a shrimp skewer dish. Well this time, I’m making a Chicken skewer dish with peanut sauce from I Love Spice.

What you’ll need.

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into 3/4-inch/2cm cubes (I just got a package that was probably a pound and cut them into some sort of cubes. I mean are you going to measure your meat? No you are not.)
  • 4 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Cucumber cubes, for serving and eating
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter
  • 4-5 tablespoons of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder

The first step in this recipe is to take the chicken that you probably didn’t measure into 3/4 inch cubes and place it in a shallow dish. Seriously, who measures the cubes of their food? I need Italian grandmother measurements for this! My mind does not work that way. Tell me, one thumbs length or something. That makes sense to me.

Anyway, in a small bowl you will mix the soy sauce, cornstarch, 2 cloves of garlic, and ginger. When this is properly mixed, you will pour it over the chicken, cover, and marinate for at least two hours. Marinate in a fridge too because no one wants e coli unless they are under a voodoo spell.

This next step was not necessary for me, because I have metal skewers. If you have wooden ones, though, then you want to soak them in cold water for a half hour.

When you think you’re about ready to cook your chicken, preheat the oven to 375 and place your chicken cubes on your skewers. Heat a ridged grill pan until hot. (I do not have a ridged grill pan, so I just put some aluminum foil on my oven rack.) Add the skewers to whatever heated surface you use on high heat for 3-4 minutes. Turn them every once in awhile while cooking until they turn brown as well. Once the chicken has browned, put the skewers on a pan and cook in the oven for 5-8 minutes.

While all of this is happening, you can make the peanut sauce. The first step for that is to heat oil in a pan. When the oil is hot, add the onion and the remaining garlic clove over medium heat. Once the onion has softened you will add he peanut butter, water, and chili powder. Simmer this for 2-3 minutes.

When you have completed all of these steps, you are ready to arrange your skewers with the cucumber and sauce!

I was pleased with this recipe. It’s not difficult and you can get away with not having any kind of grill pan.

The marinating is what sells this recipe. I’m not a huge fan of soy sauce, but when it comes to marinating meat in it, I’m all in. Soy sauce makes the chicken juicy and tender, as well as adding a bit of a salty taste. Pair that in garlic and you are in instant heaven!

The peanut sauce was tasty as well, but I didn’t love it enough to need it.

If I were to make it again, I think I’d just add some rice and make a feta cucumber salad. Basically I would turn this dish into a Thai Greek child. I just want to make Greece great again and free Thailand. Two birds, one stone people.

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Chicken, cucumber, and peanut sauce