Friday, January 15, 2010

January Daring Cooks Challenge: Thai Inspired 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.

Satay are fun little skewers of meat, frequently known in our house as meat on a stick. The goal of this challenge, aside from making delicious food, was to explore marinating. Marinades are an easy way to tenderize tougher cuts of meat and add flavor at the same time. For this challenge, we could turn any kind of meat or vegetable into satay, so I chose turkey tenderloins, a meat that is already tender, but lacks somewhat in the flavor department. The night before we planned this for dinner, I put together the marinade in the food processor and it couldn't have been easier, though the turmeric gave it a somewhat radioactive hue that raised eyebrows. Then, the next morning, we put the turkey into the marinade and let it sit in the fridge all day to, well, marinate.

Now, we love to grill and we will do so, even the lowest of low temperatures, snow, ice or rain don't faze us. So, naturally, we grilled our satay, after waiting what seemed like an eternity for the grill to get hot enough (500F). I had reduced the amount of oil in the marinade somewhat, but had no trouble with sticking thanks to our fantastically well-seasoned cast iron grates. We cooked these about 8 minutes on the first side and 6 on the other, I would've let them go longer, but we were quite hungry. While my husband tended the grill, I quickly whisked up the peanut sauce to go with our satay. I only made half the recipe and found it to be more than enough for the pound of meat, but in case you like it saucy, I've listed the original recipe below.

Satay Marinade (with my adjustments)

1/2 small onion, quartered
2 T ginger garlic paste
2 T lemon juice
1 T soy sauce
1 T fish sauce
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp dried chile pepper flakes (I used Aleppo, a mild chile)
1 T vegetable oil
1 pound turkey tenderloins (or other meat or veggie, cut into strips)

Puree everything except turkey in a food processor or blender. Pour over the turkey and refrigerate 12 hours for turkey (or 6-24 hours for other cuts of meat).

To cook: You may skewer your meat, if you wish, just make sure to soak wooden skewers 20-30 minutes in warm water so they don't burn on the grill. We did not skewer because we couldn't find our metal skewers and were too hungry to wait the soaking time for the bamboo ones. Discard leftover marinade and grill turkey on a grill preheated to 550F for 8-10 minutes per side, just until you get a little char on the edges.

Peanut Sauce

3/4 cup coconut milk
4 Tbsp peanut butter
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp dried red chile flakes (again, I used Aleppo)

Combine coconut milk and peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl and heat for about 15-20 seconds to soften. Whisk until smooth, then mix in other ingredients until blended together. Serve as a dip or drizzle over your satay.