Thursday, 14 January 2010

Daring Cooks' Challenge January 2010 - Chicken Satay with peanut sauce

The January 2010 DC challenge was hosted by Cuppy of Cuppylicious and she chose a delicious Thai-inspired recipe for Pork Satay from the book 1000 Recipes by Martha Day.

When I saw this, I could have leaped for joy - finally an easy recipe with relatively easy ingredients to source. Also a recipe that wouldn't have E complaining about the preparation/end result. Satay is regular favourite in our house, especially when it's barbecue season (which is all year round really).

You see, our neighbours/best friends/drinking buddies/food connoiseurs/Wii competitors are half from the Netherlands (One is Dutch, the other lived there for a long time so she's a lovely mix between Spanish weirdness and Dutch To-the-pointness!) so satay was one of their regular speciality dishes for almost every barbecue (or when they had the mix). They are not great cooks themselves so tend to use semi-prepared mixes in preparing their chicken satay.

Originally I had though about sitting out on this challenge (given that we were already at 10th Jan, with final posting on the 14th), but when I saw how little ingredients were needed, I reckoned I should at least try.. Most of the ingredients were stuff that I had at home and used regularly for marinades (yes, we do a lot of barbecues), except the peanut butter. Wasn't sure if I was going to be able to find that so easy (it's not a Spanish taste) but found a supermarket where there are a load of ex-Pats around the area so reckoned that they should have it. Success..

So it was a case of bung all the ingredients in a bowl with the chicken and leave it for 12 hours (approx) and the same with the peanut sauce. I wasn't sure whether E would like the sauce - it was really strong of peanut and I'd put a whole bird's eye chili (guiƱdilla) so reckoned that he was going to give me stick about it. Boy was I wrong - he'd left the remaining sauce in the office for his workmates who loved it - I think they were all bringing in chicken the next day to dip in the sauce!!

Well, see for yourself... Simple, hassle-free cooking - great when you're short for time!

Satay Marinade
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 T ginger root, chopped (optional) (2 cm cubed) - substituted for ground ginger (wasn't going out to buy some)
2 T lemon juice (1 oz or 30 mls)
1 T soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
1 tsp ground coriander (5 mls)
1 tsp ground cumin (5 mls)
1/2 tsp ground turmeric (2-2.5 mls)
2 T vegetable oil (or peanut or olive oil) (30 mls)
1 pound of pork (loin or shoulder cuts) (16 oz or 450g) - I used chicken breasts

1a. Cheater alert: If you have a food processor or blender, dump in everything except the pork and blend until smooth. Lacking a food processor, I prefer to chop my onions, garlic and ginger really fine then mix it all together in a medium to large bowl.
2a. Cut pork into 1 inch strips.
3a. Cover chicken with marinade. You can place the chicken into a bowl, cover/seal and chill, or place the whole lot of it into a ziplock bag, seal and chill.

Alternatively.. you can try this marinade
Faster (cheaper!) marinade:

2 T vegetable oil (or peanut or olive oil) (1 oz or 30 mls)
2 T lemon juice (1 oz or 30 mls)
1 T soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
1 tsp ginger powder (5 mls)
1 tsp garlic powder (5 mls)
1 tsp cayenne pepper (5 mls)

1b. Mix well.
2b. Cut pork into 1 inch thick strips (2-2.5 cm thick), any length.
3b. Cover pork with marinade. You can place the pork into a bowl, cover/seal and chill, or place the whole lot of it into a ziplock bag, seal and chill.

Peanut Sauce
3/4 cup coconut milk (6 oz or 180 mls)
4 Tbsp peanut butter (2 oz or 60 mls)
1 Tbsp lemon juice (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
1 Tbsp soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
1 tsp brown sugar (5 mls)
1/2 tsp ground cumin (2.5 mls)
1/2 tsp ground coriander (2.5 mls)
1-2 dried red chilies, chopped (keep the seeds for heat)

1. Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add soy sauce and lemon, mix well.
2. Over low heat, combine coconut milk, peanut butter and your soy-lemon-seasoning mix. Mix well, stir often.
3. All you’re doing is melting the peanut butter, so make your peanut sauce after you’ve made everything else in your meal, or make ahead of time and reheat.
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