>> Thursday, January 14, 2010
The Daring Cooks proposal for this month was a typical Thai dish, though widely known in other Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia and Malaysia. A satay consists of broiled skewered meat (almost any type), previously marinated in a mixture of onion, garlic and spices. The cooked meat is dipped in a peanut sauce. The meat gets its striking yellow color from the turmeric in the marinade. I had tried this dish an obscene amount of years ago, while living in The Netherlands, where it's a very popular fast food due to the large Indonesian community. I remember at the time I found the sauce the most disgusting thing I had ever tried... something warm with peanut flavor... yikes! Again the Daring Cooks were challenging me with something I'd never even think of cooking if left to my own devices. Nevertheless I've completely changed my mind about it this second time... has time taught me something?
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.
You could choose any type of meat or tofu, I chose a pound of pork simply because I had some pieces in the freezer. I stuck strictly to Cuppy's directions and didn't add or eliminate any ingredient.
Pork satay with peanut sauce
First marinate the meat. Cut the meat in pieces. I used pork sirloin and cut it in thick strips. Put all the marinade ingredients in a food processor and process until you get a yellow paste. Put the meat with the marinade in a freezer plastic bag and toss to coat evenly. The minimum time for marinating was 4 hours, but I preferred to leave it in the fridge overnight. By the way, all those who don't like the flavor of coriander or cumin seeds should refrain from trying this recipe. I love them though.
The sauce can be prepared in advance or on the spot, it's very easy and quick. But I must warn you that it's somewhat delicate, as it can separate like mayonnaise if overheated. Yes, it did happen to me. Therefore I recommend you to do it just before serving the satay, then you avoid the risk in reheating it.
Grind the spices in a clean coffee-grinder if you don't have them ground, like myself. Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan and heat very gently for the peanut butter to melt. Watch it carefully to prevent it from boiling. The moment the mixture is more or less homogeneous, turn off the heat and stir. We ate our separated sauce all the same... ahem.
Before making the sauce then, turn the grill on. It must be nice to cook this in a barbecue in the summer, but we had snow. Slide the meat onto the skewers. First soak the skewers in water for 20 minutes if you're using the wooden ones. Lay the skewers under the grill, around 10 minutes on each side, until the edges start to brown. Don't overcook the meat or it will be dry. When done, transfer to a beautiful serving plate and eat immediately, dipped in the peanut sauce. Everybody, including our guests for lunch, loved the satay. I must admit though that the sauce is a bit shocking at first... in Spain we're only used to eat peanuts as one of the most famous tapas of all: panchitos, peanuts fried in oil and salted, extremely popular in all kinds of tabernas. But on the whole the result was very positive, even though I had to buy an imported peanut butter, laden with hydrogenated vegetable fats (peanut butter is not very popular in Spain).... all for the sake of blogging.