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Another “inspired by sunshine” dinner ~ I fired up the grill and it was still DAYLIGHT! Pretty amazing how much easier it is to grill when you can, ya know, see and stuff.

We have 2 grills – the mega-gigantic-I-am-woman-watch-me-sear beast of a gas grill and a new, old-school dome style Weber, the one on two wheels. Different grills for different things, the Weber is almost exclusively a smoker. There will be a post dedicated to the Weber – after many trials and errors we found a perfect home smoker in a $90 Weber Grill with, maybe, $30 in accessories. Oh yes, we will talk about that awesome, just not today.

The propane one is wicked convenient – it preheats with no mess in about 7 minutes & when I am done I turn it off and go eat while it cools. Does it add a cooked over charcoal flavor? Not really, even though it does grill beautifully and get a superb sear…but a piece of meat cooked over top of hot coals for 10-12 minutes doesn’t pick up an insane amount either, really. The advantages of charcoal are long term, not short term ~ especially when weighed against the mess differential in creating the two. Propane also allows me to control the temperature immediately so I can crank the flames to sear and drop them when I want to roast, or something gets a little flamey – it happens.  It’s really no more or less convenient that preheating my oven…well outside of the part that its on the porch. Silver lining – walking is good exercise.

In this incarnation you want to use a good cut of beef, I used large cubes of beef tenderloin. My butcher sells the filet ends whole & uncleaned at a really good price, $8 something per pound, so when I am wanting a decadent beef dish this one is a go-to because I clean and butcher it myself; that isn’t an option for everyone. Cleaning a beef tenderloin is a tad more difficult than a pork tenderloin, a bit more silver skin and fat to clean.

If you feel confident butchering go for it – you can get a superior cut for a decent price, if not get thick steaks – strips, filet, ribeye, good sirloin – and cube them up. If you go with a lesser cut, one that wouldn’t be served as a steak and would more likely be served sliced, like a flank steak, skirt steak or flatiron, cut into 1/2″ strips and make more skewers. You will need to shorten your cook time and grill over a higher heat to get a nice sear and still have them cooked properly, still amazing, though.

The beef really is so totally not the reason we are here, as delicious as it was. Hell, you could make this exact dish with salmon, tofu, portobello mushrooms, chicken…they are all simply a delivery device for the knock your socks off marinade. I have used it on, well, everything I can think of that I can/will grill. It’s an earthy blend of soy, sesame, garlic & ginger that is just yum. It is a low acid marinade so it is ok to use on seafood without cooking it, but it will take on the color from the soy. I marinade for 2-5 hours, mostly dependent on how hungry I am, but on anything but seafood is perfectly ok overnight but be warned the garlic flavor will be potent. I don’t think I have made this the same way twice, but I measured when I made it this time with measuring cups and spoons and everything! Feel free to play with it though, it is excellent with some crushed red pepper flakes added, I’m just a baby when it comes to spicy so I didn’t.

This recipe calls for fresh grated ginger. I measure the ginger by the inch, but its not one that has to be added with any exactness. You can get it in the produce section of the grocery store, peel it with a paring knife before grating. When I grate for a use like this I use a cheese grater instead of my microplane, the larger pieces aren’t a big deal and it is wicked faster. Ginger lasts a long time in the crisper of the fridge, it’s a nice thing to have around. You can substitute ground ginger, about 1 Tbsp, but it really doesn’t compare to the bright freshness of the fresh grated ginger.

Grilled Ginger Garlic Kabobs  makes about 2 cups of marinade

  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced up very very fine
  • 1 whole Shallot, also minced very very fine
  • 1″ piece of Fresh Ginger, grated on a box grater
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • a liberal amount of Fresh Ground Black Pepper – lots
  • 3 Tbsp Ponzu Sauce **
  • 1/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar **
  • 1/4 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Sesame Oil **

If you are using bamboo skewers get them soaking in water. This is a necessary step – stops them from splintering while stabbing things, preventing awkward “why am I eating/choking on wood” moments at dinner parties and stops them from catching fire on the grill. SAFETY FIRST PEOPLE!!

Cut & grate all the vegetables, add all the ingredients except the sesame oil to a bowl and mix with a whisk to combine. Slowly add the sesame oil while whisking to create an emulsification. Marinade = done.

Toss the cubed beef tenderloin (or whatever it is you are skewering) with the marinade. This can be done in a bowl or you can put it all in a gallon bag and smoosh it all around, either method works. Let it sit for at least an hour or two  to soak up some flavor, if marinating over night stop and pick up here tomorrow.

Skewer your meat. Dont jam pack your skewers, add in some veggies if you’d like, the pieces should touch, but not be all rammed together so they cook evenly. Layer them in a pan they will fit in and pour the marinade on top. They can sit this way, with an occasionally flip, until ready to grill.

For these beef skewers I preheated the grill over medium high heat (the thermometer thing that I rarely trust read about 400) to get the grates good & hot and put them on. I dropped the heat directly under the skewers while they were cooking to prevent flare ups. Grilled them 3 minutes on 4 sides for a perfect medium rare and removed them to let them rest while we got to the table.

I served this with basmati rice w broccoli ~ cooked the basmati according to package specs & added a head of small chopped up broccoli florets & a tablespoon of butter when I removed it from the heat to let it sit. Cooked the broccoli perfectly and the rice matches the garlic soy marinade like it was meant to be.

Oh yeah…and it’s HEALTHY! Not a lot of oil in the marinade, grilled and a light side dish. AND it tastes incredible! I won dinner!

** These are all readily available at all of the grocery stores I shop at, so Market District to a ghetto Shop & Save, in with the Asian foods. Ponzu is a really delicious citrusy sauce, lighter than soy, that I use it randomly and keep around. If you don’t have/want it add 2 Tbsp of extra soy sauce and eliminate the salt.

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