Friday, May 6, 2011

Beef and Pineapple Kabobs

I had every intention of making this recipe from - yet again - the Cooking Light Quick and Easy, Low Calorie recipe book, except their version was for pork and pineapple skewers. For the third time in the last month, my grocery store has not had pork tenderloin when I try to find it. I'm sorry, is there a "season" for pork tenderloin??

I look at my list and think to myself: "self, you have two options. Scratch this dinner and go with your plan B of grilled salmon and salad, or, we take the fateful sign of the petite steaks on sale and make something out of these lemons life handed you..." I went for the latter. I ordered up a pound of these little petite top sirloin steaks that were perfect. The butcher man said this is what he preferred to use when he made their kabobs - the beef kabobs Mr. Max and I looooove. Sold.

I planned to use the same ingredients that the pork and pineapple kabobs called for in my beef marinade, I thought I had those ingredients already at home, meaning I did not pick them up at the store. I think you've inferred that this was not the case. So, I created a hodgepodge marinade instead. Meet my ringer ingredients:

The original recipe included mirin and sake, a little tamari - so, of the Asian influence. I took a look at what I had, pulled out everything that made sense - minced ginger, sweet chile sauce, hoisin, tamari (soy sauce) and of course, can't do beef with Worcestershire sauce. See below for approximate measures, but it was very much some of this, a dash of that, all done by taste so that gives you the freedom to create it the way your heart desires.

Grocery List:
  • 1 lb. beef tips, sirloin, whatever beef you prefer, cut into 2" cubes
  • 1 tsp. minced ginger
  • 1/2 cup Tamari
  • 2 tbsp. Hoisin
  • 1 tbsp. sweet chile sauce
  • 2-3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups of pineapple chunks, 1" cubes
  • skewers (obviously not an "ingredient" but needed)
Start by combining your saucy ingredients in a bowl. Mix it up and test by taste to see what you think you need. 

Now, add the beef chunks and let them soak for at least 30 minutes, stabbing them with a fork a few times to help the marinade penetrate into the beef (at least I like to think that is what happens).

While your meat bathes, peel a red onion and chop it in half, remove the center. Chop it in half again. You will end up with nice chunks of onion, perfect for skewers. Chop them to whatever size you like - this size is my preference.

Begin pre-heating your grill or griddle at this point, spraying well with cooking spray. I griddled it this time. I had bought fresh pre-cut pineapple at Whole Foods, I highly recommend you go the same route to save a lot of time a trouble. Once the onion was cut and the beef was ready, time to begin the skewering. There's no method to this madness, I kept 2-3 onion "rings" together and thread it in the order: onion, pineapple, beef - then repeated, see! (right side was the beginning of the sequence, left side is the sharp skewering end)

This made enough for 3 skewers. If your griddle or grill is hot and ready, on a medium-high heat setting - for apartment cooks, level 6 on your stove dial, place your kabobs on the surface and let cook for about 8 minutes, then flip. As a little tip from me to you, I like to take my Wok pot top and cover the food as it cooks - it fills with steam and helps create a more even-cook throughout the meat, also speeding the process.
and flip...

Once your meat has reached it's desired "doneness", remove from the griddle and serve! I paired with a Sesame Ginger boxed rice and steamed asparagus.

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