Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hanoi Beef Kabobs

Despite my usual black thumb, I manage to grow a few herbs on my deck each summer. I usually start with rosemary, thyme, basil, parsley, chives, and mint. But only the strongest survive.

This year, we bought our plants earlier than usual -- mid-May -- in what would be a colder than usual spring (we were still getting frost advisories in early June). So my little pretties sat on the deck during the day and in the garage during the night, until we felt comfortable moving them to their pots. By that time, the chives were droopy. The basil was wilted and sad. And the parsley was at death's door.

Something magical happened in the past two weeks. Maybe it was the weather or a visit from the Miracle-Gro fairy, but my herbs are thriving. All of them. My basil is bending under the weight of too many leaves. My parsley is lush and shiny and two feet high. And we should be able to chop down the rosemary tree in time to decorate it for Christmas this year.

I enjoy making recipes like this one, from one of my Weber cookbooks, that combines a variety of fresh herbs. I love running out to the deck and cutting off my own herbs. I feel so domestic and useful for once. This marinade is definitively Asian, but gets a sweetness and freshness from the herbs, and a bite from the jalapeno.

Hanoi Beef Kabobs
Serves 4

1/4 c. lime juice
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint
1 Tbsp. ginger, minced or grated
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 cloves garlic minced or grated
1 tsp. jalapeno, minced

1 1/2 lbs. steak, cut in large chunks

1. Combine marinade ingredients in a small bowl.

2. In a glass dish or resealable bag, combine beef and marinade. Let sit, refrigerated, 4-8 hours.

3. Thread meat onto skewers. (If using wooden skewers, let skewers soak in water for 30 minutes, first.)

4. Grill over medium heat 10-12 minutes, or until cook to desired doneness.

I'm not talented enough to eat kabobs off the stick without impaling myself. I recommend pulling it all off first.

Mmm ... steak bites ...

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