Anand Prakash, author of The World of Kebabs, Whitecap, 2006, compiled 150 mouthwatering recipes from Europe; the Middle East; South and East Asia; Africa; Latin America and the Caribbean. FM asked Prakash for tips on making kebobs faster and easier for foodservice operations.
What is your advice for making kebobs easier and faster?
Preplanning is important with regard to type of meat, marinade and grill temperature.
What's the biggest mistake a cook can make with kebobs?
Since kebobs take between 6 and 8 minutes total time to cook, it is a must that cooks stay with the grill while the food is being cooked. They cannot afford to move away for a chat, a drink or a smoke.
What is your all-time favorite kebob combination?
My favorite kebob is Chicken Tikka Kebab (recipe on p. 116 of my book), and I use boneless chicken thighs marinated in yogurt, lemon juice and Indian spices to obtain tender and juicy kebobs which can be served either as an appetizer or as a main course. If you use chicken breasts, one has to reduce cooking time to avoid drying out.
Are metal or wooden skewers better for cooking in high volume situations?
If one is grilling for a crowd, metal skewers are recommended. They are cost effective, long lasting, reusable and washable.
What about marinating for feeding larger crowds?
I suggest that the marinating time (normally overnight) can be reduced to half an hour if vacuum-assisted marinating devices are being used.
Which meat, in your opinion, is the best of the best for kebobs?
Beef, pork, chicken and fish are used for kebobs, but lamb is regarded as the best meat.