Shish Kabobs with Rice

This weekend I was given quite the culinary challenge: make a meal for ten people without breaking the bank. I would be feeding everyone at the beach, so my mind immediately went to shish kabob (I want summer and barbecues to be here so badly!). This is a great option for vegetarians as well, always a plus.

Living in the city does not mean you can't enjoy this recipe. If you have a little indoor grill, that will work just fine. Due to the poor weather we had this weekend, we actually ended up broiling the shish kabobs in the oven, which worked just fine.

(I'm apologizing in advance for the quality of photos. It's tough when you're not in your own kitchen!)

Ingredients (serves 10):
3 containers of cherry tomatoes
Pearl onions, peeled (quick tip below)
2 green peppers
1 yellow pepper
1 red pepper
1 orange pepper
2 packages of whole mushrooms (I used cremini)
1 zucchini
2 summer squash
5 lbs top sirloin steak, cut into cubes
10 cups chicken stock (ideally, use vegetable stock)
5 cups rice

Ingredients for marinade:
1 tablespoon salt
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 heaping tablespoon of the following dried spices: thyme, basil, oregano, marjoram
2/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 2/3 cup red wine (an inexpensive table wine is fine)
5 bay leaves
1 large onion, thinly sliced
6-8 drops tabasco sauce

My local butcher was willing to cut the beef into 1-inch chunks for me. I'd suggest asking the same of your butcher. The recipe is best when the vegetables and meat are able to marinate overnight, so I'd suggest doing so.

Combine all marinade ingredients in a pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Feel free to adjust the ingredients to your liking (more spices, less vinegar, whatever makes you happy).

While waiting for the marinade to cool, prepare your veggies. Cut the peppers into 1 inch pieces.

Cut the zucchini and summer squash into thin slices, discarding the ends.

Wash the mushrooms with a damp cloth to remove excess dirt.

Peeling pearl onions is horribly annoying. They are tiny and difficult to handle. As I was mumbling over my slow peeling process, my boyfriend's roommate gave me a great tip: if you soak the onions in hot water, it loosens the outer layer. I was able to peel these little guys MUCH faster!

you can see the skin breaking away
Cut off the top and bottom of each pearl onion and peel away the outer layer.

Place the meat in a one gallon ziplock bag and the vegetables in another ziplock bag. (I did this mainly so the meat and vegetables remain separate -- for the vegetarians in the group). Split the marinade equally between the bags.

I needed 2 bags for veggies

Place in the refrigerator to marinate overnight.

To prepare the meal, soak the skewers in water. This will prevent burning of the skewer during cooking. (You'll see in photos below that I completely forgot to do this. I strongly suggest doing so though!) Place the meat on skewers. The meat and vegetables should be kept separate so that (1) the meat can be cooked longer and (2) for those beloved vegetarians again. Alternate the vegetables so that each skewer has a nice selection of all the vegetables. Feel free to have people make their own veggie skewer so that they can get exactly what they want.

To prepare the rice, bring 10 cups of stock to a boil. Add 5 cups of rice. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover, stirring occasionally until all the stock is absorbed. This is a very basic rice because the marinade will add the flavor.

Ideally, the skewers should be cooked on a grill for 10 to 15 minutes, rotating the skewers half way through. Mother Nature was not willing to cooperate, so we ended up broiling the skewers in the oven, 4 minutes on each side.

Turning the skewers
While the kebabs are cooking, take the leftover marinade and bring to a boil. If there are vegetarians, keep the marinade from the meat separate from the marinade used for the vegetables.

To serve, pour cooked marinade over a serving of rice. Top with a vegetable and a meat skewer.

I received rave reviews for this recipe. This marinade is a-mazing. Marinating everything overnight really enhances the flavor. It also tenderizes tougher meat. I personally couldn't get enough of the mushrooms, they really absorbed the marinade.  AND it only ended up costing about $7 a person! *pats self on back*

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