Salmon kebabs (often called kabobs) are always a treat on the grill, but what if you don’t have access to a grill or the weather is bad? Use this oven method to enjoy them year-round.
One of the secrets to awesome salmon kebabs is cooking them fast under high heat. As you are probably aware, overcooked seafood becomes dry and chewy when overcooked. This method requires a very hot oven, 450 F, and a short cooking time, less than 15 minutes. You can do the prep work ahead of time, refrigerate the kebabs, and cook later in the day for a quick meal.
The real secret here, however, is the herbed mayonnaise sauce that not only lends fabulous flavor, but also keeps the kebabs moist under high heat.
This recipe lends itself to so many variations. You’ll notice I’ve added shrimp this time, but you can do all salmon or all shrimp. If you’re not a fan of salmon, feel free to substitute any thick, firm-fleshed fish filets, such as cod, haddock, halibut, tuna, shark, etc.
You can cut your preparation time way down by using frozen vegetables in place of fresh. This will allow you to skip the blanching process. Simply let the vegetables thaw, then thread onto the skewers. As for the potatoes, substitute canned new potatoes and skip the boiling process altogether. Use your imagination in choosing your own favorite vegetables, but keep in mind that they will need to have enough texture to stay on the skewer. Be sure they won’t need to take longer to cook than 12 to 15 minutes under high heat.
Lastly, if you do have access to a grill and the weather cooperates, by all means, throw them on the grill! As I’ve said, the real star here is the flavorful basting sauce.
Salmon Kebabs in the Oven Recipe
1 pound baby red, new, Yukon Gold, or fingerling potatoes (about 1-1/2 to 2 inches in diameter, about the size of a half-dollar coin – see Notes)
1 pint raw pearl onions (see Notes)
1/4 pound fresh asparagus
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed between your palms
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
1 pound 1-inch thick salmon filet, skin removed
1 pound raw jumbo shrimp, shells removed (optional)
1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
Lemon pepper and sea salt to taste
Lemon wedges and chopped parsley for garnish
Cover baby red potatoes and pearl onions with salted water. Bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are easily pierced with a skewer, about 12 to 15 minutes. When potatoes are done, add asparagus and simmer 1 more minute. Drain and let cool until you can handle them. Scrape the skins from the potatoes a butter knife and cut larger ones in half. Remove the outer papery layer from the pearl onions. Cut asparagus into 2-inch lengths. (This may be done in advance.)
Whisk together mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, oregano, basil, dill weed, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika until combined.
Preheat oven to 450 F. Line 2 shallow baking pans, jellyroll pans, or rimmed cookie sheets with non-stick foil. Coat liberally with butter-flavored vegetable oil.
Cut the salmon into 1-1/2-inch chunks. Alternate the vegetables with the salmon chunks and optional shrimp on skewers. Brush with the herbed mayonnaise sauce. Sprinkle with lemon pepper and sea salt to taste. (Seafood loves salt!) Place skewers on the prepared pan and roast for about 12 minutes. Do not overcook or the seafood will become tough.
Serve with lemon wedges and chopped fresh parsley.
Yield: 8 servings
• Regular-sized red potatoes may be substituted. Cut them into pieces roughly about 2 inches wide after cooking and peeling.
• I was unable to find fresh or frozen pearl onions this week at the market, so I substituted sweet onion wedges. If you substitute, cut a small sweet onion into 1-inch wedges. Drop them in to blanch along with the fresh asparagus as indicated in the instructions above.