Venison and Shrimp Kebabs

With a Turkish twist, these juicy surf and turf kebabs are sure to become a grilling favorite. These bad boys are packed with tons of flavor-- cumin, cilantro, red onion, and garlic-- they will give your summer night dinners that extra kick. Coupled with a spicy Red Harissa Sauce borrowed from Bon Appetit's featured Chef Silvena Rowe, these kebabs are dynamite. Venison will go where it's never gone before... with its new-found buddy, the shrimp!

Makes: About 14 kebabs
- 1 1/4 lbs ground venison
- 2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup of red onion, coarsely grated
- 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
-  1 lb. shrimp, deveined, peeled and roughly chopped
- olive oil, for brushing

-extra wide Popsicle sticks

Red Harissa Sauce: makes 3 cups
- 3 large red bell peppers
- 2 1/2 tbs. white wine vinegar
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 red jalepenos
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus extra to taste
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus extra to taste
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

I. Red Harissa Sauce
1. Roast the red bell peppers directly over a gas flame, turning occasionally to get them charred all over. Roasting peppers really helps to release flavors, and gives a smoky taste.

2. Transfer to a large bowl, cover and let stand for 15 minutes.  This will steam the peppers and make them easier to peel. 

3. With a knife, scrape the skin off. Remove the stems and seeds. 

4. Seed and chop the jalapenos. Crush the garlic.

5. Except the extra-virgin olive oil, put all the other ingredients in a food processor. Puree until very smooth. 

With the machine still running, slowly add in the oil. Salt and pepper to taste.

* Store in fridge until ready to use. Freeze extra.

II. The Kebabs

1. In a large bowl, combine peeled, deveined and chopped shrimp and ground venison.

2. Using mortar and pestle, or anything you can find, further crush the minced garlic and 1 tsp. of kosher salt together into a paste. I just did the best I could with my knife.

3. Add the garlic paste, remaining 1 tsp. of kosher salt, onion, cilantro, cumin, pepper flakes, black pepper to the venison and shrimp. Combine well. 

4. Press the mixture onto popsicle sticks. Try not to overload. The meat may be too heavy and fall off. It can be a little tricky, since ground venison doesn't have much fat in it, but with some finessing, it will work. You just have to be extra careful. 

5. Prepare your grill. 
Charcoal- medium hot fire
Gas grill- high heat

6. Brush kebabs with olive oil and place on grill. Grill until nicely charred and just cooked through. About 6 minutes each side.

7. Serve hot with Red Harissa Sauce. 

We suggest having this dish with couscous and Greek salad. Enjoy!


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