Friday, April 13, 2012

Kabobing with the Greeks

Souvlaki (plural is Souvlakia), is small pieces of meat or poultry, sometimes vegetables are included, which are grilled on a skewer. The grilled food can be eaten right off the skewer or pulled off onto a warm pita bread to make a sandwich. If you're looking more for a dinner entree, place the souvlaki over rice or orzo. The warm pita bread, broken into pieces, can act as a utensil.
This is a simple and easy meal that can be prepared for sports oriented children. Get them home after their event and while they're cleaning up, you can be getting together this healthy meal for them. Vegetarians can indulge by substituting tofu for the protein and adding a larger variety of vegetables.

The marinade for the Souvlakia is simply lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, parsley and garlic. The lemon juice helps to break down the connective tissue in the proteins; tenderness is assured after grilling or oven roasting.  For my recipe, I added capers for a little twang on the tongue.

Beef and Vegetable Souvlaki


1 lb beef cubes, trimmed of fat
1 lb mini sweet peppers, cut in half and seeded
1 large onion, chopped
½ lb small button mushrooms
¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup olive oil
2 Tbsp minced garlic
½ tsp each of fine sea salt and ground black pepper
2 Tbsp minced parsley
1 tsp capers


In a large plastic container, combine all ingredients thoroughly; seal and refrigerate overnight.

If grilling, alternate beef cubes and vegetables on skewers. (soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes first to avoid burning). Place on medium-high preheated grill; cook for 6 minutes before turning skewers; cook another 6 minutes before serving.

If roasting, preheat oven to 450F. Place beef, vegetables and remaining marinade into a large roasting pan, or onto a large jelly roll pan, in a single layer. Cook for 3 minutes, turn beef; repeat; on 3rd turn of beef, also turn vegetables (this will allow for beef and vegetables to caramelize); turn beef a 4th time, cook for 3 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Mary Cokenour

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