I wanted to try a Middle Eastern dish and I had in mind that I wanted to do kebabs. However, in my research for my meal I found that Middle Easter kebabs are different than that of Persian kebabs. I found that Middle Eastern kebabs are more basic as far as relying on ingredients and use cumin as a main ingredient. Yet, they are incredibly flavorful. Since I am not an expert and love learning anything when it comes to food, any comments you may have for me would be much appreciated. I would love to know the differences in this type of food. I also learned that since kebabs are prepared in almost every Middle Eastern country, there are many different spelling variations of kebab including, kebob, kabob, etc. Also, they apparently are prepared differently all over and don't always have to be on skewers to be considered a kebab. I ended up using pre-made saffron rice and garlic hummus because I was short on time, however, I found 2 great places that you can find easy recipes for both! I have made the garlic roasted hummus recipe from that site and it came out great! If you would like to do a semi-homemade approach to this dish (thank you Sandra Lee!) then just use packaged saffron rice and prepared hummus.
Middle Eastern Kebabs with Cucumber & Mint Yogurt, Veggie Skewers, Saffron Rice, Pitas and Garlic Roasted Hummus
Prep: 30 min. ~ Cook: 20 min. ~ Total: 50 min. ~ Serves: 4
4 top sirloin steaks, cubed
2 cups olive oil
3 tsp cumin
1/2 small onion, cut into wedges
8 oz. plain, Greek-style yogurt
1 small cucumber, seedless preferred
5 mint leaves, minced
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt
For veggie skewers:
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/2 onion, cut into wedges
1 bell pepper, yellow
8 mushrooms, halved
For a super easy saffron rice recipe, go here.
For a yummy and easy garlic roasted hummus recipe, go here.
Season steak cubes with cumin. Place in a large freezer bag and add olive oil and onion. Make sure steak is fully coated in the oil and let marinade for at least 30 min. If marinating meat for longer, be sure to place meat in the refrigerator.
Using a grater, grate the cucumber over a strainer. Sprinkle with salt and allow water to drain from grated cucumber for about 10-15 min.
In a small bowl, combine yogurt, grated cucumber, mint and garlic. Mix well and place in the refrigerator 'til ready to serve.
Prepare rice and hummus according to the directions. If rice is cooked and stays covered, it will usually keep warm for up to an hour. If you are preparing the packaged saffron rice, cook time is usually only 20 min.
For veggie skewers, arrange skewers any way you want with the assorted vegetables. Be sure to include at least one type of each vegetable on each skewer. After all skewers are arranged, drizzle olive oil over the veggies to prevent them from sticking to the grill.
Heat grill and place meat and vegetable skewers on the hot grill. Cook about 10 minutes or until desired doneness. Be sure to turn skewers halfway through cook time. Do not over-cook meat or it will come out tough and chewy.
Cut pitas in half and served with cooked kebabs, yogurt, rice and hummus.