Spice Islands Supper

Today was not the welcome relief of a crisp sunny day at the end of summer heat. The weather here in western Massachusetts turned raw and rainy. It made me wish for a warm beach and turquoise waters.

Spicy and infused with subtle local flavors like coconut milk, West Indies and other island recipes are fusions of African, Asian, Indian, Spanish, French and Dutch cuisine. In the islands, you're more likely to find a main dish kabob prepared with goat or lamb. I use beef sirloin tip, a tender, flavorful and economical substitute. Spoon whole kernel corn over brown rice for a side and your island style dinner is served.

Add a little spice island style to your life -- I think you'll like it!

1 pound sirloin tip steak, cut into one inch cubes
1 small yellow onion, cut in quarters
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger root
1 teaspoon red chile paste, or 1 finely fresh chopped hot chile pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon peanut or sesame seed oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Skewers, soaked in water for an hour to prevent burning

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except meat. Place meat in a large zip-loc bag. Pour marinade over meat in the bag. Zip closed and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Thread seasoned meat on moistened skewers. Discard marinade. Cover kabobs with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to grill.
Preheat grill for medium-high heat (450 degrees F). Brush grate liberally with oil, and arrange kabobs on grill. Cook for 5 minutes on each side, turning as needed to brown evenly. Serve with peanut dipping sauce.

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon peanut or sesame seed oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon chile paste, or 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup coconut milk

Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor. Use puree cycle, adding more coconut milk to get your desired consistency. Serve the sauce warm or at room temperature.

Makes four servings.


  1. i was watching a show .. who ?? and they were saying it is better to do the kabobs with all the meat on one. veggies another (cut to cook equally). that way you avoid the dried out this and the undercooked that.

    one of those things that seems very obvious, but i was not doing it like that.


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