Saturday, July 30, 2011

RECIPE - Brazilian Fish Kebabs (Espetinho de Peixe com Laranja)

The espetinhos (kebabs) that you're likely to find on the streets, squares and beaches of Brazil are fairly basic things - cubes of spiced meat, skewered and grilled over charcoal.

However, when you're invited to a bbq party at a friend's house, or when you line up at the buffet at a wedding reception or graduation party, you'll often find more elaborate, more "gourmet" versions of the espetinhos on offer. Instead of just meat, you might find vegetables or even fruit on the skewer, and the marinade might include interesting and unusual flavors.

This recipe is for kebabs of fish marinated in orange juice, and comes from the Brazilian women's magazine Ana Maria. The use of citrus juice to marinate meat and seafood is common in Brazil, though it's more often lime juice than orange juice. If you prefer a slightly less sweet marinade, substitute lemon or lime juice for half of the quantity of orange juice called for in the recipe.
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RECIPE - Brazilian Fish Kebabs (Espetinho de Peixe com Laranja)
Makes 6 kebabs

1 1/4 lb (600 gr) fish fillet or steaks (choose firm-fleshed fish that don't flake, such as tuna, halibut, salmon or others)
3 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 red or green bell peppers (or one of each)
18 small button mushrooms
1/2 cup orange juice, fresh-squeezed if possible
vegetable oil for grilling
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Mix together in a medium bowl the soy sauce, vinegar and ginger. Cut the fish into 18 equal-sized cubes, then add to the bowl, stirring to completely cover the fish with marinade. Set aside to marinade for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, seed the bell peppers and cut the flesh into 18 squares. Thoroughly clean the mushrooms with a brush, and cut off the stems if hard and tough.

Drain the marinaded fish, reserving the marinade. Alternatively skewer the cubes of fish, bell pepper squares and mushrooms on 6 bamboo or metal skewers, using 3 pieces of each ingredient per skewer.

Grill the kebabs in a charcoal or gas grill, or use the broiler. Grilling time will depend on method used, and size of grill.

While the kebabs are grilling, combine the reserved marinade and orange juice in a small saucepan. Bring rapidly to a boil over high heat and boil until reduced by half.

When the kebabs are almost done, brush the reduced marinade over them and cook for about one minute more. Remove from heat and serve immediately, with the remaining marinade in small dipping bowls.

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