This recipe and photos are courtesy of Cynthia Detterick-Pineda of Andrews, TX. More of Cynthia's
live in the Southwest and do not have an outdoor grill, you may be looked at as
an outsider. While many places in the United States, and even around the world,
might pull their grill out when the first sunny, warm spring day comes along,
many of us out here grill all year round! There can be two inches of snow on the
ground, torrential rains pouring down, or even winds that would knock down the
sturdiest of men, and we are out there firing up the grill.
I am not
going to even cover the argument as to which is better, gas or charcoal. They
are even promoting electric grills now, but somehow that just does not seem like
grilling to me. If you are going to turn on an electric burner, then why not do
it inside, under the air-conditioning (I live in a place where you are already
hitting 100 degree temperatures before the end of May). So whichever you
prefer; gas, charcoal or even electric, just get out and enjoy the simplicity of
grilling and spend some time with family and friends.
I guarantee this recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser, and
will leave you time to enjoy the company of the day. Besides, what could be
better than avoiding a sink full of dishes! This recipe below is the perfect
meal for an outdoor party (beside the pool if you are that lucky or even at
the park). Just a little planning ahead, and you can celebrate the day with
friends and family without having to spend all day stuck inside the house
watching the fun through the window.
You are probably more familiar with the Turkish name for
these, Shish Kebab. Estepadas came into this country through Christopher
Columbus, who it is said was rather fond of beef that had been marinated in
wine and skewered on a stick to roast. Like a shish kebab, these were the
perfect meals for nomadic travelers. They also make a great meal for a
crowd, especially when you want to be part of the crowd and not just the
Shish Kebobs - Portuguese Espetadas
Yields: serves many
Prep time: 60 min
Beef Cubes (see below)
Tarragon Chicken (see below)
Garlic Shrimp (see below)
Vegetables (see below)
Balsamic Vinaigrette (see recipe below)
On the day before you plan to grill, prepare the beef, chicken, and their individual marinades. Place the beef and chicken in the freezer only while you prepare
their marinade ingredients. Allowing the meat to freeze partially will make cutting easier.
On the day you plan to grill, prepare the shrimp, garlic butter, and the vegetables.
Prepare Balsamic Vinaigrette. Place the prepared Balsamic
Vinaigrette where the mixture can be brushed over the shish kebobs (espetadas) before and during grilling.
Roasted green chile peppers and bacon can also be added to the meats offered. The bacon is wrapped
around the skewers to add both flavor and fat to help with cooking. The long green chiles, which have been roasted and peeled, can be wrapped into the
skewer as well prior to cooking if you want to add a little more spice.
When ready to grill, fire up the
Barbecue grill to a medium high coal (for gas grills keep the burners on about medium). If you have a rotisserie then use it! You can place up to ten
Espetadas in the basket of a rotisserie
Place the skewered beef and chicken (with vegetables) over medium hot coals and grill for approximately 20 minutes, turning frequently and brushing with the
Balsamic Vinaigrette. Allow to cook for approximately 20 minutes, or until the meat is done so that the juices run clear. Remove from Grill.
Place the skewered shrimp onto the hot grill and cook approximately 2 minutes on one side; turn and cook
another 1 minute or until shrimp exterior have changed from translucent to pink. Remove from heat. NOTE: The garlic butter mixture will be brushed
over the shrimp just prior to placing them on the grill, adding more while grilling if desired. Remove from grill.
One of the easiest ways to serve this type of meal is to place all the ingredients out “buffet” style. Supply bamboo skewers that have been soaked
overnight and allow guest to “build” their own Espetadas. The meats should be kept separate from the vegetables.
The Garlic Butter (for the shrimp) and the Balsamic Vinaigrette marinade can be used both before and during grilling.
NOTE: Do not use the marinades that the meats have been in this would allow cross contamination and allow bacterial growth.
Since you have made a meal that contain beef, chicken, shrimp, and vegetable, a side dish such as a salad can complete the meal.
Grilled Jalapeno Poppers also go well with this meal, especially as an appetizer while waiting for your
shish kebob to grill.
1/2 cup red
1/4 cup extra-virgin
2 cloves crushed
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
3 fresh jalapeno
chile peppers, finely chopped
1 pound lean beef such as sirloin steak or London broil cut into 1-inch cubes
In a medium-size bowl or a large re-sealable plastic bag, combine the red wine, olive
oil, crushed garlic, salt, and black pepper. Whisk until combined. Add the
chopped jalapeno chile peppers and the cubed beef, making sure the marinade
coats all. Place in the refrigerator and allow to marinate overnight (if you
need to make this on the same day, allow at least 2 hours to marinate).
1 lemon, zested, then juiced*
1 lime, zested, then juiced*
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves**
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
* Learn about
Juicing Citrus Fruits and how to
** If you cannot find fresh tarragon, you can substitute
Mexican mint marigold, oregano, or thyme.
In a medium-size bowl or a large re-sealable plastic bag, whisk together the
zest and juices of the orange, lemon, and lime, and the crushed garlic, tarragon leaves,
soy sauce, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add the cubed chicken, toss to coat and place in the refrigerator overnight.
Garlic Shrimp and Garlic Butter:
1 to 2 pounds fresh
shrimp (21-25 count or larger), peeled and deveined
Salt and pepper
4 cloves crushed
1 cup melted butter
In a small sauce pan over low heat, melt the butter with the crushed garlic, stirring
frequently. Allow to cook on low for 20 minutes to allow the butter to capture
the garlic flavor. Place the butter mixture into a small bowl and set aside.
Vegetables (these can be your choice):
3 large bell pepper, cleaned and cubed (I like to use a mix of green, red, and yellow)
1 pound mushrooms, washed well
5 to 6 small
onions, cut into quarters
2 pounds summer
squash (zucchini, crookneck, and Mexican all work equally well)
1 large fresh pineapple, cut into 2-inch chunks
10 or more baby red
potatoes that have been parboiled
4 ears fresh
corn, husk and silk removed and cut into 2-inch thick slices
1/4 cup extra-virgin
Salt and freshly-ground
black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons good-quality
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, salt, and pepper. While continuing to
whisk, slowly drizzle in the balsamic vinegar. Continue whisking until it is well combined. Place the bowl where the
Balsamic Vinaigrette can be brushed on the kebobs before and during grilling.