Kebab Day

On a day like this, my Armenian side gets to shine. I love kebabs, crispy brown on the outside and juicy, tender on the inside, with just the most mahhhhvelous blend of herbs and spices. Whether you like to marinate or simply dry season, enjoy the process of both preps and cooking. I always think of my Grampa when I make kebabs. I so enjoyed sitting at his feet as he patiently grilled long skewers of lamb over the hot coals. I can drift away just thinking about the luscious aromas! Yummmmm… and then comes the first delectable bite! Oooooh-la-la! Whether you choose lamb, pork, beef, or seafood, enjoy your kebabs today or any day. Here is the recipe that I have included in the back of Book 2 in the historic fiction Destiny Trilogy. Destiny of Determination: Faith and Family will be released in paperback and eBook formats on November 2nd, with an audiobook to follow.

Grampa Hrant Gulumian’s Lamb Shish Kebabs

This is the recipe Hrant Gulumian made as an adult in New Hampshire in the 1950’s and 60’s, as written on a 3×5” card in Mom’s collection.

¼ c olive oil

¼ c red wine or wine vinegar

3 T lemon juice

1 tsp each: salt, oregano

½ tsp ground black pepper

4 lbs boneless lamb, cut into 1½“ cubes

Combine marinade ingredients in 13×9” dish. Add the meat and toss until coated. Cover for 3-6 hours. Thread meat on skewers. Grill over charcoal, turning to brown evenly; baste with marinade. Grill about 15-25 minutes until brown and crispy.  (Or up to 45 min if you do this in true Armenian fashion, fanning the coals.) Makes 8 servings.

Author’s Notes: I adapted this recipe a few times over the years. My favorite twist from 1970 adds a sliced or chopped onion and a tablespoon of minced garlic to the marinade combination. I also put it all in a large, zip-top plastic bag and marinate overnight (on a plate, in case of a leak, and sometimes with a sliced onion) in the refrigerator. Though threading colorful vegetables, such as mushrooms, green peppers, onions, and tomatoes, looks nice on a skewer, I use separate skewers for most vegetables, other than maybe some of the onions. Combining 1” pieces of onions and peppers works great, but I let mushroom caps and cherry tomatoes have their own skewers, as they cook very quickly. I also brush the veggies with remaining marinade. This marinade works equally well on lamb chops, shanks, and leg of lamb. Shish Kebab is delicious simply served with rice pilaf, salad, and fresh Armenian lavash.

About Cathy Burnham Martin

Author of 20+ books, and counting! A professional voice-over artist, dedicated foodie, and lifelong corporate communications geek, Cathy Burnham Martin has enjoyed a highly eclectic career, ranging from the arts and journalism to finance, telecommunications, and publishing. Along with her husband, Ron Martin, she has passions for entertaining, gardening, volunteering, active and visual arts, GREAT food, and traveling. Cathy often says, "I believe that we all should live with as much contagious enthusiasm as possible... Whether we're with friends or family, taking people along for the ride is more than half the fun."
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