On a trip to Santa Barbara, we had lunch on Stearn’s Wharf at a famous seafood restaurant. Everything we tasted was amazing including my friend’s seafood kebabs. I was impressed, but I kept thinking to myself, Mine taste better. So, just in time for the last blast of summer – before the barbecuing weather says, “Adios,” here is my seafood kebab recipe
Kebabs traditionally came from the Near East and were made with lamb. It is rumored that medieval Persian soldiers used their swords to skewer meat and cook it over an open flame. The presence of kebabs has been noted in ancient India and Greece as well. Over time, their popularity has soared, and any number of ingredients can be used to make a delightful and healthy meal.
Whether preparing these for a light summertime meal or part of a celebration menu, these delicious kebabs are always a treat. The grill helps to bring out the unique flavors and oils in all of the ingredients so no additional spices are needed. I like to cut everything up the day before I intend to grill, and refrigerate it in a large container overnight so the flavors can blend and ripen. The pineapple acts as a tenderizer to the salmon and shrimp, so when I cut up the ingredients the day before grilling the skewers, I make sure the pineapple gets stored at a lower level in the container than the seafood.
You can use any leftover vegetables and pineapple chunks to make a quick sweet and sour stir fry. Just add more shrimp and salmon.
1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ lb. piece of salmon or other oily fish, cut into chunks
1 red onion, peeled and cut into quarters
1 Vidalia, Walla Walla, or Sweet Maui onion, peeled and cut into quarters.
1 zucchini, sliced to 1/8 inch thickness
1 Japanese eggplant, sliced to 1/8 inch thickness
3 pineapple wedges, cut into 4 chunks per slice
1 pkg. whole white or Baby Bella mushrooms
1 green bell pepper, cut into large chunks
1 red bell pepper, cut into large chunks
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, cut into large chunks
1 pkg. cherry tomatoes
To add a bit more spice, add 1 large jalapeno, sliced in chunks (optional)
1. Slice all ingredients and place in a large storage container. You can do this a day ahead of time if desired.
2. Begin to thread the ingredients onto long wooden skewers, placing a slice of bell pepper on the outside at both ends, and the seafood towards the middle. Once you thread the first skewer, repeat the pattern you have created with the sliced vegetables, pineapple and seafood on each consecutive skewer until you have filled 12-14 skewers. Each skewer should have about 2 shrimps and one piece of salmon.
3. Preheat gas grill to 350 degrees, or prepare charcoal in a traditional grill until they are white and no longer flaming. Cover a cookie sheet with edges in aluminum foil.
4. Place skewers on the barbecue. Grill for 5-7 minutes, then turn the skewers over and grill on the other side for an additional 5-7 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Do not let the skewers become overly blackened. Remove skewers one by one and place on foil-lined cookie sheet. Serve over basmati rice, black japonica rice, quinoa or gluten-free couscous if desired. Serves 4-6 people.