In which the world of culinary hedonism is explored with a cup and a half of curiosity, a heaping tablespoon of passion and a dash of clumsiness.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sixtieth Post ~ Steak Shish Kebabs with Orange Soy Marinade

I'd like to call these "Shish kebabs," but if you were to research the etymology of the name of this summer-time treat, you'd call me a liar.

You see, loyal readers, the word "shish" is accurate (stemming from the Turkish "şiş" meaning "skewer") but the "kebab" part is where you'd get me. "Kebab" comes from the Persian "kabab" (کباب) and means "fried."

But if I were to call this a plate of steak "shishes" you wouldn't have any idea what I was talking about. So we shall concede to the modernization of language (read: borrowing words and completely changing their meanings) and call them "steak shish kebabs."

Here's how you make these particular food anomalies:

For the marinade:
~ Orange juice
~ Soy sauce
~ Sugar
~ Garlic

For the "shishes:"
~ Steak (cut into cubes)
~ Chunks of bell pepper
~ Mushrooms (I'm back to my baby bellas)
~ Garlic (jarred or crushed)
~ Sesame seeds
~ Fresh parsley

In a skillet, combine the orange juice, soy sauce, garlic and about a tea spoon of sugar. Simmer it so that all the flavors meld. Turn off the heat and let it cool. Preheat your toaster oven or other heating apparatus on 350 on broil. I accidentally had it on 300, and I had to pop these back in.

Dice up the steak and bell pepper.

:: PAUSE ::

I had trouble falling asleep last night. As I am a foodie, I would rather dream up recipes for lambs than count them leaping over fences. So I thought about the steak I had put into the fridge to thaw and considered how I might prepare it. In my subsequent dream, I saw it skewered upon a stick with mushrooms, garlic, orange, soy, and - peppers! Orange bell peppers! (Yes, I dream about food, and I dream in color!) Orange is my favorite color, so it could have just been channeled in through that path, but I have to say, when I found this incredibly bright orange bell at Wegmans today, I felt that it just might be kismet.


Assemble the shish-kebabs-which-are-not-to-be-kebabed and lay them in a shallow pan. Pour the sauce over them and sprinkle them with sesame seeds. Let them marinate for about 15 minutes, spooning sauce over them occasionally. Put them in the toaster oven for five minutes, turn them, and put them in for another five. When you're ready to enjoy them, garnish them with fresh parsley. It adds a wonderful light flavor to the meal.

I paired tonight's dinner with an Argentine Malbec by Elm Tree. It's fruity enough to match the whole "summer barbecue" feeling of the meal, but hearty enough to stand up to some seriously intense flavors. I was impressed by the fact that it never tasted tart next to the sweet orange-soy sauce, but also served to cleanse the palate as I enjoyed the fresh peppers, earthy mushrooms and steak. A good pairing, and a "dream-come-true" meal - even if its name is etymologically incorrect!

Yours in the love of good food and wine,