We launched from this beef kebab recipe that had some of our favorite elements: sweet, salty, sour, and loads of umami, and added some pepper for spice. We were thinking of making an American recipe, but according to the Thai principle of having sweet, salty, sour, and spicy all balanced in the same dish. What we also liked about this recipe is that we already had all these ingredients on hand, too. If you like to cook, you probably have everything you need, too.
If you’re out of balsamic vinegar, substitute some red wine if you’ve got it, or even some red wine vinegar plus sugar.
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
4 crushed garlic cloves
2 chopped red chili peppers
Skewer things: meat, pineapples, onion, bell peppers (red for color), mushrooms, grape tomatoes etc
Note that when you get down to it, this beef marinade recipe calls for equal parts olive oil, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce. Then about half as much worcestershire sauce as any one of those ingredients. Add as much garlic and hot peppers as you like.
You could also omit the olive oil in this recipe. It’s so good, you’ll end up adding it into your rotation, so you’ll have plenty of chances to experiment.
I didn’t chop up the garlic. Seems to me that when you do that, you just end up with little pieces of garlic stuck to everything, and burnt garlic does not have a nice flavor. But if you crush and peel your cloves and throw them in with the marinade, your meat will get infused with the flavor just as well.
If you’re making this a tabletop-cooked meal on the little orange grill like we did, make sure you make smaller kebabs that cook more quickly. That way you can keep cooking and eating and enjoying yourselves, instead of waiting 30 minutes for your big kebabs to cook and then finishing everything in five minutes. That’s no fun--and that’s why we prefer tabletop cooking!
Mr. Tabletop Cook noticed at the last minute that this was a missed opportunity to grill some mushrooms. So true! But when you’re ready to get grilling, and you have a couple of drinks to set the mood, then nobody should be going to the store for last-minute mushrooms. But you all should definitely get yourself some mushrooms to put on the skewers.
We paired the beef kebab recipe with a Syrah, a nice, dry red wine that goes well with beef and can handle spicy, flavorful dishes like this one.
We had these beef kebabs with these chicken kebabs--very awesome combination! Both recipes had really complex, powerful flavors. We missed the mark a little in serving it with this grilled cabbage, though. Don’t get me wrong--I love cabbage and this grilled cabbage was delicious! But for me, the grilled cabbage with butter and garlic salt tasted like wonderful comfort food, and deserved to be served with a nice, simple, salt-and-pepper grilled steak and maybe some grilled/baked potatoes.
I think a zesty fresh cabbage slaw made with a funky vinaigrette would have been a better side for this meal.
1/8 cup olive oil.
1/8 cup maple syrup.
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar.
1/8 cup soy sauce.
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce.
4 chopped garlic cloves.
2 tablespoon chopped parsley.
pepper and oregano to taste.
Some of my favorite online stores might have just what you need for your next tabletop meal!
Asian Food Grocer has a great selection of essential ingredients and many hard-to-find items.
Cilantro Cook Shop has a great selection of quality raclette and fondue sets.
For The Gourmet has an amazing selection of cheeses and chocolates.
Sephra specializes in chocolate, caramel and fruit fondues... and fountains.