Saturday, May 21, 2011

Garlic-Chipotle Beef Kebabs

Do you ever wish you could go back in time and experience something from your own life all over again? Is that weird? Well, I feel like that sometimes and if I could pick one experience to revisit I'd go back to age 20 when I spent 3 months in London. Amazing doesn't even begin to describe my time across the pond. However, I never got around to trying kebabs while I was there (London has a huge Indian population, which means they have tons of Indian eateries as well), mistakenly thinking they were the same as the shish-kabobs I'd eaten at home so many times before.

Now, more than nine years later I've come to find out they are totally not the same thing at all. The husband, who as you may remember is Pakistani, mentioned wanting some kebabs the other day, but explained he didn't want what we usually have, he wanted Indian kebabs. He totally laughed when I told him that I thought they were the same thing. A few days later my newest issue of Everyday Food arrived, with a special section on kebabs, including one Indian-style recipe. I was super excited to show the husband and try making them.

The best part of this meal was that the husband decided to join me in the kitchen and help mix up all the ingredients--a rare occurrence for sure. He said these kebabs were very similar to those his mom made when he was growing up and we should definitely make these again. We doubled the recipe to make 12 kebabs since we weren't having any side dishes. I also made a yogurt dip to serve; simply stir about 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/4 cucumber peeled and thinly sliced, and 1/4-1/2 teaspoon garlic salt into a small container of Greek yogurt. Let the flavors meld for about 30 minutes, then dip your kebabs.

Garlic-Chipotle Beef Kebabs
Source: Everyday Food
Printable Recipe

1 pound ground beef
1/2 small yellow onion, finely grated (I just threw mine in the food processor)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons chipotle chilies in adobo, minced
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon coarse salt
big pinch black pepper

Heat a grill to medium heat. (As always, I highly suggest using a charcoal grill rather than gas. Charcoal lends a much better, smokey flavor, which I just feel you cannot achieve with a gas grill.) Clean and lightly oil the grates once they are hot.

If using a charcoal grill, I found it best to build a pyramid of charcoal in the center, so you can set your kebabs in a circle over the direct heat.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together with your hands until well combined.

Dived the mixture into 6 equal portions. Using your hands, shape each portion of meat into a long oblong, about 1" across. Make sure they are each an even thickness so they cook evenly. Insert a long skewer lengthwise through each oblong .

Grill the kebabs, turning occasionally, for about 6-9 minutes, until they are cooked through. I found it best to let them cook, with the BBQ lid on, without turning for about 4 minutes, then I turned them about once per 45-60 seconds after that. This keeps the meat from falling apart on the grill.

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