Kebabs with kick? There's the rub


August 23, 2006|By RENEE ENNA

Rubs can rub a lazy cook the right way. There usually are ample ingredients in the pantry (after all, how much ground red pepper or cumin can a person go through in a decade?) and they add plenty of zip to meat and seafood.

Here we're adding a rub to quick-cooking steak kebabs. You can tailor the rub to accommodate your heat quotient; use less of the chili and ground red pepper (or none at all) if you prefer a tamer kebab.

Renee Enna writes for the Chicago Tribune, which provided the recipe analysis.

Kaboom! kebabs

Serves 4 -- Total time: 25 minutes

Tailor the amount of chili powder and ground red pepper you use to how big a kaboom you're after. Also, you can substitute quartered baking potatoes for the pricier fingerlings.

2 teaspoons each ground cumin, brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (see note)

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

2 strip steaks, cubed

12 small whole button mushrooms

8 small fingerling potatoes, halved

2 red bell peppers, cut into large chunks

4 flour tortillas

lime wedges

Heat grill or broiler. Combine cumin, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, chili powder and red pepper in a bowl; put steak in bowl and toss with the rub.

Thread the steak, mushrooms, potatoes and bell pepper pieces, alternating ingredients, on 4 skewers.

Cook, turning once, until potatoes are fork-tender and steak reaches desired doneness, about 15 minutes for medium. Unthread onto 4 plates; divide among the 4 tortillas. Serve with lime wedges.

Note: Chipotle chili powder is sold in larger supermarkets or specialty markets. Regular chili powder can be substituted.

Per serving: 398 calories, 10 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 60 milligrams cholesterol, 47 grams carbohydrate, 28 grams protein, 946 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber

Menu suggestion

Mango salsa; Kaboom! Kebabs; warm flour tortillas; rainbow sherbet


Chopped mangos make a great salsa: Add a little olive oil, green onion, salt, chopped jalapeno and cilantro for a zippy, fruity side. If the mangoes are super ripe and juicy, you won't need the oil.

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