Looking for the perfect summer kabob? Think Layla’s!

Photo courtesy of Layla's Lebanese Restaurant

Photo courtesy of Layla’s Lebanese Restaurant

The dictionary defines a kabob as being cubes of meat marinated and cooked with vegetables, usually on a skewer. That definition may give people an idea of what it is, but it doesn’t explain how to achieve the delicious taste that people crave in a great kabob. Those who want to know how to make a truly great kabob need to look toward tradition and use authentic Middle East recipes. Summer is the perfect time to make this dish, which when done right, will please any crowd.

“If you want a special meal that will bring people together and give them something to remember, opt for kabob,” explains Mathil Chebat, the mother and executive chef of Layla’s Lebanese Restaurant, a family owned and operated restaurant. “Kabob has a rich cultural history and people love the flavors when it’s done right.”

It’s believed that the term kabob dates back to the late 1300s, with them originating with Turkish soldiers. Traditionally, the kabobs are grilled with fresh cuts of meats and vegetables. Today, there are many variations, including vegan versions made with chunks of marinated tofu or seitan in place of the meat. The good news is that kabobs are versatile, so people can include the protein and vegetable options that they prefer.

Layla’s Lebanese Restaurant is known for serving up some of the best authentic kabob in the area. Kabobs are a great option for those wanting to grill over the summer because they can be made so many different ways. There are options for those who are health-conscious, vegetarian, vegan, or wanting all organic.  There are some good reasons for giving Lebanese food a try, including to expand your horizons, try some new flavors and dishes, add some spice to your life, learn about another culture, and to discover new things you may like and want more often.

Those who want to try making it at home this summer will want to keep these tips in mind for preparing the perfect summer kabob:

  • Start with high-quality ingredients. Having good ingredients is going to make a big difference in how the kabob turns out. Make sure you have high-quality cuts of meat and fresh vegetables to start with. Try to stick with ingredients that will take a similar amount of time to cook.
  • Choose a good-tasting marinade and let the meat or tofu marinate for at least a couple of hours. The marinating process is important to how flavorful the kabobs will end up being.
  • Opt for good-quality skewers if you plan to make them more than once. There are stainless steel ones available that can be washed and reused. If you won’t be making them very often, you can opt for bamboo ones. Choose ones that are not too thin because you don’t want them breaking with the weight of the food on them.
  • Assemble your skewers so that they have an alternating pattern, from your protein source to your vegetables.
  • Cook them on the grill, watching the time so that they cook thoroughly but don’t burn. The amount of time you cook them for depends on what is on your kabob.
  • Serve them over a bed of rice, serve them still on the skewer, or remove the ingredients and pop them into a pita pocket.

“There’s nothing like a great tasting kabob,” added Chebat. “It’s a tradition in our culture and it’s one of the most popular dishes we serve at the restaurant. People love it, and this summer is a great time to try making it yourself.”

Try making Layla’s Beef Kabobs:

Recipe Serves 10 Skewers.

Ingredients:

1 pound of Ribeye

2 Green Pepper

1 Large Onion

2 Tomatoes

2 Teaspoons of Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon of Salt

1 Teaspoon of Pepper

5 Cloves of minced Garlic

20 wooden skewers to make kabobs.

Preparation: Preparation time 35 Minutes

  • Cut the Ribeye into chunks of cubes, big enough to put on a skewer.
  • Cut the Green pepper, onion and tomato into big chunks.
  • Mince your five garlic cloves for the marinade. The smaller the better.
  • In a large bowl prepare the marinade using 2 teaspoons of olive oil, salt, pepper, and the minced garlic. This is going to give you your Layla’s savory flavor.
  • Mix until everything is together and then add your chunks of ribeye.
  • Let it marinate for about 20 minutes.

Directions:  30 Minutes

  • After you marinate your beef kabobs you are then going to start the process of skewing them.
  • You will then put 5-6 pieces of ribeye on each skewer until finished.
  • You will alternate between green pepper, onion, and tomato for your vegetable skewers.
  • Add a pinch of salt and pepper to each vegetable kabob for flavor.
  • Once finished you are ready to grill these delicious and healthy kabobs.

Don’t forget the Delicious Layla’s Garlic Whip.

Suggested sides:

Rice pilaf

Salad

Corn on the Cob

Layla’s Lebanese Restaurant, located at 2217 Old Bridge Road in Woodbridge, Virginia, is owned by the Chebat family. The restaurant was started by Michael Chebat and his wife, Mathil, and it is run by them and their eight children. Together, they have created a menu that appeals to many, including those who are health-conscious, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and seeking organic options. The restaurant is open Monday-Thursday from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm, Friday and Saturday from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm, and Sunday from noon until 4:00 pm.

The company has defined a set of core values that include love, family, trust, quality, and flavor. Layla’s Lebanese Restaurant offers a menu filled with authentic Middle East dishes, including kabobs, falafel, hummus, grape leaves, beef shawarma, meat pies, stuffed cabbage, a Lebanese version of steak tartar, and a wine and beer menu. The restaurant also offers full catering services for birthdays, graduations, business events, work lunches, and more. Those who sign up for their email list will receive 10 percent off their next visit. For more information about Layla’s Lebanese Restaurant, visit the site at: https://www.laylas.net.

The company also offers a line of ready-made products that are available in stores and farmer’s markets throughout Virginia and New York. The Layla’s Food Company product line includes Layla’s Garlic Whip, available in original, honey garlic, jalapeño cilantro, cranberry, and sun-dried tomato, and Layla’s Hummus, available in original and black bean. The website offers recipes and a free cookbook that can be downloaded. For more information about Layla’s Food Company, including which stores carry the product line, visit the site: https://www.laylasfood.com.

Photo courtesy of Layla's Lebanese Restaurant

Photo courtesy of Layla’s Lebanese Restaurant

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