Sunday, 22 May 2011

Satay-day Night Special

We had our first real summer day yesterday. Gloriously sunny and optimistic with just a gentle reminder of how that same sunshine induces fatigue - especially when it comes to cooking.

Enter the BBQ. The tool of summer.

But what if your plan is to drink margaritas on the deck all afternoon and you can't possibly face chopping and prepping after that?

No problem, prep early - marinate some great meats and have a satay party! Saveur Magazine has a great little variety of satays in their May issue and we sampled two, with accompanying dipping sauce of course.

They got prepped and marinated hours before cooking, leaving me extra time for important things. Like that margarita. And its friends.

When it was time to skewer and BBQ? I just popped some jasmine rice in the rice cooker and threw down some baby spinach. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Maybe lime squeezy - to go with the theme. You get my point.

Satay Udang (Shrimp Satay)
Ground macadamia nuts enrich this spicy Singaporean-style shrimp satay. This recipe first appeared in Saveur Magazine's May 2011 issue, with the article The World of Satay.

MAKES 20 SKEWERS

1 1/2 lb. (about 40) medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1 1/2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
8 Kaffir lime leaves, stemmed
5 macadamia nuts
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 red Thai chiles, stemmed
1 3″ piece ginger, chopped
3 tbsp. peanut oil
1/3 cup coconut milk

In a bowl, toss shrimp and lime juice; set aside. Puree shallots, sugar, salt, lime leaves, nuts, garlic, chiles, and ginger in a small food processor. Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat; add paste. Cook, stirring, until oil separates from paste, 3–4 minutes. Stir in coconut milk. Cool. Stir into shrimp; chill 4 hours.

Build a hot charcoal fire in a grill. Thread 2 shrimp each on 20 skewers. Spoon marinade over shrimp; grill, turning, until charred, 3–5 minutes.

Saus Kacang Tanah (Javanese Peanut Sauce)
This creamy peanut sauce is perfect served with all satay. This recipe first appeared in Saveur Magazine's May 2011 issue, with the article The World of Satay.

MAKES ABOUT 2 1/2 CUPS

1 1/2 cups unsalted skinned roasted peanuts
6 tbsp. dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. dried shrimp paste, roasted
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Holland or fresno chile, stemmed, chopped
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
3/4 tsp. kosher salt

Heat peanuts in a 12″ skillet over medium heat; cook, stirring, until toasted, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and let cool; reserve skillet. Process until finely ground. Add sugar, shrimp paste, garlic, and chiles; process until very finely ground. Transfer paste to skillet and stir in coconut milk. Heat over medium heat, and cook, stirring, until oil begins to separate from paste, about 6 minutes. Stir in vinegar, salt, and 3/4 cup water; cook, stirring, until the consistency of pea soup, about 4 minutes. Let cool.

Chile-Rubbed Beef Satay
Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten created this intensely flavorful contemporary satay. This recipe first appeared in Saveur Magazine's May 2011 issue, with the article The World of Satay.

MAKES 12 SKEWERS

1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
2 tbsp. grated orange zest
4 tsp. fish sauce
1 1/2 tsp. dark brown sugar
1 tsp. canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. beef sirloin, cut into 1″-wide, 1/4″-thick slices
***I have noticed there is no mention of chile in this chile-rubbed recipe - so I added some teochow chile paste to mine. Also, I added some sweet onion to the skewer.

Puree soy sauce, cilantro, orange zest, fish sauce, sugar, oil, and garlic in a food processor until smooth. Toss paste and beef in a bowl; chill 4 hours.

Build a hot charcoal fire in a grill. Thread 1 piece of beef each on 12 skewers; grill, turning, until charred, about 5 minutes.


**Soak your skewers! If you are using bamboo, or other burnable wood-type skewers - let them soak for at least a half hour before cooking.