"Shish kebab" literally means "skewered grilled meat" in Turkish. The "shish" part refers to the skewer; the kebab part refers to the grilled or broiled meat. There are dozens of variations of kebabs (sometimes spelled kebap, kabab, kebob, kabob, kibob, kebhav, or kephav), but the one I want to tell you about is the pork shish kebab we grilled at our house last night.
It all started with the fresh pineapples that we saw when we went shopping the day before. Feeling in a rather tropical mood, we decided to buy one. Wanting something a bit different for dinner, we decided we'd use part of the pineapple alongside some pork and some good, fresh veggies and fix kebabs.
You don't need a formal recipe for shish kebabs, but here's how I fixed ours.
Grilled Pork Shish Kebab
Teriyaki sauce (I used a bottle of the store brand which was excellent)
One small sirloin end pork roast (1 to 1 1/2 pounds) or thick-cut boneless loin pork chops
Fresh pineapple, cut into chunks
Red bell pepper, cut into chunks
Zucchini, washed, ends trimmed, cut into chunks
Green onions, cut into 3 to 4-inch pieces
Four to six metal skewers
Using a large knife, carefully cut the pork roast into chunks about 2 x 2 inches in size. Put the chunks in a non-metal bowl and pour teriyaki sauce over top. Cover the pork and marinate in the refrigerator for an hour or two. (I didn't completely cover the pork with the teriyaki sauce, so I turned the pork pieces over about halfway through the marinating time.)
Carefully thread the meat, pineapple, and vegetables onto the skewers while you're preheating the grill. When the grill is ready, place the kebabs on the rack. Cover and grill for about five minutes, then turn the kebabs over and grill for another five minutes or so or until the meat is done. Carefully remove the shish-kebabs to a platter. Serve over a bed of your favorite rice.
Recipe variations: Feel free to substitute chicken or beef for the pork and choose your own combination of fresh vegetables. Instead of marinating in teriyaki sauce, sprinkle liberally with Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb seasoning, or your favorite seasoning mix.
If you don't use marinade, you can cut up the vegetables and assemble the kebabs on skewers while the grill is heating. Shish kebabs (shish kabobs, whichever spelling you prefer) take a few extra minutes to prepare, but it's so worth it. They're fun, they're pretty, and they taste fantastic. They're also a good way to get kids to eat vegetables.
In the batch that I photographed, above, I forgot the pineapple. No problem, but if you think about it, do add some to yours. Pineapple is delicious grilled!