Sunday, October 24, 2010

Jib's Kebabs

Recently it was my birthday and I wondered what I could possibly prepare that would be different from the traditional jollof rice and chicken, when I suddenly had an Eureka moment - why not make beef kebabs and Vicky's hybrid salad for the few guests coming? So I went to the market and came back loaded the day before.

The thing about it is that you can make it in such a way that even those abstaining from pepper [ulcer patients and the likes] can still eat it without fear. I had to come up with that formula because one of my guests, an Italian, did not eat anything pepperish at all - he always ran in the other direction every time he was offered Nigerian food because through experience he'd learnt that even when they assure him that there's no pepper, he always found out that his definition of 'no pepper' was different from theirs.

Anyway, this isn't the conventional method for making kebabs, but I find this the better way [for me] because
1. The beef is actually cooked - doesn't lessen the appeal, but makes it healthier to consume.
2. I found a substitute for that peppery taste I love without compromising. Everyone was happy!

Green pepper, cubed strips
Red bell pepper [tatase], cubed strips
Onions , cubed strips, and some in slices for the frying
Tomatoes, hard ones, sliced
Beef, large cubes [boiled in thyme, curry and diced ginger]
Ginger, grated [plenty of it]
Kebab sticks [i used the disposable ones]
Spices [maggi, thyme, curry, salt]
Tomato paste
Vegetable Oil

Step 1: Drain the boiled beef of its stock and refrigerate. Sprinkle all the sauces you want to add [please do not put pepper unless you are sure all your guests wont mind] at the bottom of a large bowl. Place the beef, green pepper, grated ginger and red pepper in the bowl, tossing it all around every now and then to get the sauce around each piece. Refrigerate the mixture for at least two hours - this will help ensure the spices are absorbed into the mixture.

Step 2: Place a large frying pan on medium heat. Add oil, then salt after the oil has heated up. Add the onion slices and stir. Add the tomato paste just before the onion slices get too brown [this allows the onion flavor to be absorbed by the oil]. Remember that the paste is supposed to be just enough to coat the mixture and make it reddish - not a stew, just a coating. Add the beef stock [from the boiled beef] until the paste is less thick and allow to cook.

Step 3: Soak the kebab sticks in water. It is preferable to cut up the tomatoes and the remaining onions while the rest of the cooking is going on to ensure their freshness. After cutting them up, set aside in a bowl.

Step 4: Bring out the bowl mixture. Toss the contents again and again. Put the mixture into the hot cooking tomato paste, reduce to low heat and start stirring. cook this way for about 5 to 8 minutes [make sure the peppers are not wilted looking], set down. Wait for the mixture to cool down - it should look colorful already.

Step 5: Start putting the items on the kebab stick - alternate, using the beef as dividers. I used this sequence - onion cube, beef, green pepper cube, red pepper cube, tomato slice, onion cube beef...and so on.

Step 6: Place the kebabs on a tray and they are ready to eat! Serve them with Salad or Rice!

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