I have a lot to thank my vegetarian colleague for. I wouldn’t normally eat strictly vegetarian food, but increasingly I am finding that there is much to be said for most, if not all, of it (tofu, for example, really is disgusting unless freshly made and in Japan).
These kebabs are a case in point. They were specially made for him as the vegetarian option at a dinner to welcome a new Latin American colleague. There were leftovers which my daughter and I sampled cautiously a few days later for supper.
We were both happily surprised, and have replicated it on purpose as it were several times since.
Recipe for kebabs with peanut butter sauce
- 18 small new potatoes
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 500g/1 lb 2 oz halloumi
- 12 mushrooms – capped type that stays whole
- 12 bay leaves
- Olive oil
- 165g/6 oz/⅔ cup peanut butter – crunchy type is best
- 1 tbsp sweet chillii sauce
- 1 vegetable stock cube (or a chicken one if that is all you have) dissolved in 120 ml/½ cup just boiled water
- 3 tsps soft brown sugar
- 1 tbsp thick rich good quality soy sauce (for more about how to choose a good soy sauce follow this link)
- 1 small lime – juice and zest Smoked salt and Indonesian pepper
- Gently wash the potatoes, halve any larger ones, put into a saucepan of water and bring to the boil – once boiling continue to cook for 15-20 minutes until they are cooked through. To find out why you put the potatoes in the water first and then bring to the boil, go to don’t shock the tuber.
- Drain the potatoes and leave to cool.
- Meanwhile peel and thinly slice two of the cloves of garlic
- Cut the halloumi into 18 cubes
- Make the peanut butter sauce by gently softening the peanut butter in a bain marie
- Crush the remaining garlic cloves and add to the peanut butter
- Also add the chilli sauce, the vegetable stock, the sugar, the soy sauce and the lime juice and zest – keep warm so as to keep it more fluid
- Use a serrated tomato knife to make some small cuts in the potatoes and fill the cuts with the thin slivers of garlic
- Thread the potatoes, cheese, mushrooms and leaves onto skewers, spray with oil (or brush) and season.
- Generously oil a ribbled griddle, or heat your grill, or get your barbeque good and hot. Cook the kebabs for about ten minutes, turning a couple of times, until the cheese starts to turn golden at the corners and edges of the cubes.
- Serve with the warmed peanut sauce.