Kabobs, variously transliterated from Arabic and other alphabets as kabab, kabob, kebab, kebap and kebob, refer to small pieces of meat or seafood that are marinated and broiled. They’re often cooked with tomatoes, green peppers, onions or other vegetables, usually on a skewer. The word meant roast meat; Americans have adopted it to mean food on a skewer.
Since today is National Potato Day, we’ve got potato kabobs for you, a side dish flavored with Moroccan spices.
The recipe is seasoned with a flavorful charmoula, a pesto-like sauce; the potatoes are grilled and sprinkled with a Moroccan spice blend. Add some beef, chicken, lamb or other protein for a complete all-kabob dinner.
RECIPE: MOROCCAN POTATO KABOBS
Ingredients For 6 Servings
potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1-1/2-inch cubes
1. SIMMER potatoes until tender but still firm, drain and toss with charmoula. Cool.
2. THREAD one cube of each kind of potato onto each of 6 skewers, alternating with 1 bay leaf, 1 piece lemon rind and 1 olive.
3. GRILL skewers on a gas or charcoal grill, turning to form grill marks on each side. Sprinkle with Moroccan spice blend and serve.
1. urée ingredients in a blender.
2. STORE in a tightly-sealed glass jar. Yields 3/4 cup.
Ras el hanout. Photo courtesy Zamouri Spices. You can buy it online.
RAS EL HANOUT
Ras el hanout is a complex, aromatic spice blend, and as fundamental to Moroccan cooking as curry is to Indian cuisine.
The name means “head of the shop” or top of the shop: the freshest and best spices the merchant has to offer. Most recipes include anise, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, mace, nutmeg and turmeric, but a shopkeeper might blend 30 or more ingredients. Allspice, coriander, chili flakes, cumin, clove, hibiscus, lavender, mustard and star anise are popular ingredients.
The whole spices, dried roots and leaves are dry-fried to release their full flavor, then finely ground together. The finished product looks something like curry powder.
The spice is used to coat baked or roasted meat, seafood and vegetables; in tagines and stews; and in couscous. You can buy a jar at an Indian market or online; or use this recipe to make your own.
1. BLEND spices in a bowl.
2. STORE tightly capped in a glass jar, in a dry, dark place. It will maintain its strength for several months.