Caitlin Bensel
Active Time
35 MIN
Total Time
35 MIN
Yield
Serves : 4

I’m a huge potato fan, a lover of spuds in all forms. When I was a kid (and a very picky eater, to my parents’ dismay), I would order potatoes whenever we went out to eat. Whether we were dining at a homey family restaurant in the small Mississippi town where we lived or they had driven five hours so that my brother and I could experience an authentic Chinese restaurant in New Orleans—I’d usually find mashed potatoes or French fries somewhere on the kids’ menu and make a meal of it. I’d always eat some of what my mom and dad ordered, and I’d always like it. But in a move of stubbornness or independence (or both), I always wanted a bowl or plate of potatoes in front of me.

Now that I’m an adult with a much more expanded palate, I still have a profound fondness for the humble tuber. If I can find a way to work potatoes into a recipe or a meal, I will. When summer rolls around and I do a lot less roasting, stewing, and braising in favor of more outdoor cooking, I have to get a little more creative to get my fill of potatoes. Turns out, small waxy potatoes are fantastic on kebabs. They do need to be pre-cooked, but they take the licks of the flames like a champ—getting crispy, charred skins and somehow absorbing the smoky flavors within their creamy interior.

Almost nothing pairs better with potatoes than steak, so here I thread strips of skirt steak onto skewers with baby Dutch yellow potatoes. The intense beefiness of skirt steak is most welcome, and this cut is surprisingly well-suited to kebabs. Slices of robust Spanish chorizo crisp up on the grill and offer bursts of intense flavor as you eat the kebabs. Coating everything with smoked paprika amplifies the effect of the grilling, and interspersing buttery Castelvetrano olives onto each skewer is, I must say, one of the best culinary decisions I’ve made. (In fact, I don’t think I’ll ever make kebabs without them again.)

To finish things off, there’s a romesco-ish mayonnaise to dunk the kebabs into. I figured that since French fries are fantastic with mayo, grilled potatoes might also be great with a mayo-based sauce. Turns out I was right. Whenever I make these kebabs for my family, I am rewarded with literal exclamations of "thank you." And that might just be even better than the food.

How to Make It

Step 1    

Preheat a grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F). Place potatoes in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; pierce once with a knife to vent. Microwave on HIGH for 5 minutes. Uncover and let potatoes cool slightly, about 5 minutes.

Step 2    

Cut steak with the grain into 16 to 24 (depending on length of steak) 1/2-inch-wide strips. Place steak in a medium bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon paprika; toss to coat.

Step 3    

Cut 1 bell pepper in half, and set aside half. Cut remaining 1 1/2 bell peppers into 24 (1 1/2- to 2-inch) pieces. Add bell pepper pieces and onion wedges to bowl with potatoes. Add remaining 3 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika; toss gently to coat.

Step 4    

Thread 2 to 3 steak strips (folded in half), 3 bell pepper pieces, 2 potatoes, 2 chorizo slices, 1 onion wedge, and 2 olives onto each of 8 (8-inch) skewers. Arrange kebabs and reserved bell pepper half on an oiled grill rack on preheated grill. Grill kebabs and bell pepper half, covered, turning occasionally, until steak is lightly charred and vegetables are crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from grill; tent kebabs loosely with aluminum foil to keep them warm.

Step
Step 5    

Peel charred bell pepper half, if desired; pat dry. Place bell pepper half in a mini food processor; process until finely chopped. Add mayonnaise, vinegar, garlic, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Process until smooth. Serve sauce with kebabs.

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