Monday, June 6, 2011

Israeli Kabobs

When I was a kid, these kabobs were a typical dinner on a hot summer night. They're made very quickly and have enough flavor to please adults, but aren't too strong to put off the kids. My mom got this recipe years ago from a family friend when she was first learning all about Israeli and Middle Eastern food. The only change that has occurred over time is adding more spice to it. And don't worry, if spicy is not your things, just remove the jalapeno and cut back the red pepper flakes.

Decades later, this recipe is still loved and one of my go to "what should I do with this ground beef?" recipes. Sometimes I buy ground meat and have no clue what I want to make with it. The days when my brain doesn't feel like working, I make these. You can use different types of ground meats with this kabob recipe if your don't have ground beef. I've tried it with ground turkey and chicken and both have been a success. If you don't have a food processor, just finely chop all the herbs, onion, garlic, etc... These can be changed to your flavor preferences very easily, so don't hesitate to skip or add ingredients (just make sure you add the egg and breadcrumbs, or they tend to fall apart). These are great on their own, but can sometimes dry out a bit if you have them as leftovers more than once. When that happens, I love dipping the kabobs in ketchup since they are sort of like an oddly shaped, well seasoned hamburger.

Serves 4

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 bunch cilantro
1/2 bunch parsley (I use flat leaf)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
1 jalapeno, seeded and roughly chopped
1/2 medium onion, cut in quarters
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 egg
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
nonstick cooking spray

In a bowl, combine the beef, salt and pepper. Remove the stems from your cilantro and parsley and place in a food processor. Add garlic, jalapeno, onion, cumin, red pepper flakes, egg and breadcrumbs into the food processor. Pulse everything together until coarsely chopped, but not pureed. Put this herb mixture into the bowl with the meat and mix until combined (using your hands is best). To shape the kabobs, use the end of a wooden spoon. Take a small handful of meat and shape it around the end of your spoon (see photo below). Slide the kabob off the spatula and set aside. Continue with all the meat. When ready to cook, heat a grill to medium-high heat and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Grill until cooked through. If you do not have a grill, you can also cook these in a frying pan.

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