Who wishes they were in Vegas right now? I see a few hands….maybe? Maybe not? Last I checked it was 114°F so it might be a little bit scorching but oh, the people watching, the shows, the food! (And I suppose the gambling, if you’re into that kind of thing) but did I mention….the food?!!!!
In my opinion the best parts about Las Vegas are in this order:
- The restaurants
- The cocktails
- Laying around all day in a poolside cabana and having people bring you food and cocktails.
- And lastly, the food. Did I say that already?
Since none of us are actually in Las Vegas right now (except those of you who are) the good people over at Vegas.com (who incidentally are not required to wear feather boas to work…I asked) wondered if I could recreate some of the luxurious dishes you can get there, but you know, in a more pared-down style that doesn’t require edible gold flakes, Perigord black truffles, or imported cheese.
Shrimp and steak are virtual mainstays of Vegas dining so I decided to go with a kabob that combines both and then add some veggies for crunch and contrast. I used tenderloin, which we almost never eat but it cooks in about the same amount of time as the shrimp so neither one gets over done. The meat is marinated in loads of garlic and Mexican oregano and then grilled over a hot fire so until it is nicely charred on the outside, but still juicy on the inside.
The salsa is one of my summertime favorites. The tomatoes get nice and smoky from the grill so it goes perfectly with the kabobs but there will be plenty left over for chips or breakfast eggs or topping tacos.
What’s that thing they say about Vegas? What happens there, needs to stay there? Well, I think this one time we can make an exception.
- 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 pound beef tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing the grill
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano (preferably Mexican oregano)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
- 1 large bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cubed
- 1 large onion, cubed
- 3 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
- 3 medium ripe tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
- 6-8 skewers, soaked for at least 30 minutes before using if wooden
- To marinate the skewers, separate the shrimp and beef into 2 bowls. Pour 1 tablespoon of oil in each bowl then divide the garlic, salt, oregano, and pepper between the two bowls and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
- In a large bowl, toss the vegetables with remaining tablespoon of oil and season with salt and pepper. Thread shrimp and steak onto the skewers separating the meat with the vegetables.
- Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat. Clean and oil the grates.
- Meanwhile, prepare the salsa. Heat a dry skillet over medium heat and add the chiles. Toast them until they are fragrant and darkened in color, about 3-4 minutes, turning occasionally. Transfer to a heat proof bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak while you prepare the tomatoes.
- Cut tomatoes in half horizontally and scoop out the seeds. Toss tomatoes with the oil and place on the hot grill. Grill until skin is blackened and charred and tomatoes have slightly softened.
- Let cool slightly, peel off skin and place in a blender with soaked chiles and remaining salsa ingredients. Blend until smooth. Taste and add more lime juice or salt if needed.
- To cook kabobs, place on the hot grill and cook until shrimp are pink and firm and steak is cooked, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Remove and serve immediately with salsa.