Thursday, January 14, 2010

Jan 14, 2010: Daring Cooks - Meat on a Stick

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.

This month's challenge is brought to us from Cuppy of Cuppylicious.

Her challenge this month is "meat on a stick" which is better known as Satay.
The recipe is based upon cleverly titled book called “1000 Recipes” by Martha Day. Yes, the very British Martha Day has a very British interpretation of a classic Thai dish.

Satay (or sate) is very often served as “street fare” all over the world, and you dip your cool little meat skewer into any variety of dipping sauces. In the US, Cuppy proud to say, we created the coolest and tastiest satay on the planet – the all-American corn dog. Hooray for the USA! Love me some corndogs.

1.Use any meat or tofu you like.
2.Serve satay as an appetizer, side dish or main course.
3.Skewer or no skewer, your call.
4.Pan fry, grill, or broil, also your call.
5.Alternative recipe below for faster marinade.
6.Alternative recipe below for peanut allergies.
7.You don’t have to use turmeric if you don’t have it. In the case of satay, turmeric just makes it yellow. Har har.
8.Marinate (verb) – to steep (to wet thoroughly in or with a liquid; drench; saturate; imbue) in a marinade before cooking.

The required part of this challenge is to marinate. Marinades serve two purposes, to: 1) add awesome flavor and 2) tenderize tougher meats.

The key to a great marinade is to have an acid (lemon, lime, brine, soy, vinegar, etc) and an oil (peanut, vegetable, corn, olive, etc). If you’re already working with a soft meat (filet mignon) or vegetable (capsicum) or tofu, then you can skip the oil entirely. Potatoes and tofu still need to be marinated for flavor, otherwise you may as well dip French fries in catsup. If you're going to grill, I suggest you include the oil anyway.

[My comments are in red... For this month's challenge, I picked the pork as my meat of choice for the Satay.]

Pork Satay with Peanut Sauce
Satay Marinade

1/2 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 T ginger root, chopped
2 T lemon juice
1 T soy sauce
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
2 T vegetable oil
1 pound of pork

1. If you have a food processor or blender, dump in everything except the pork and blend until smooth.

Note: I forget to add the turmeric.

2. Cut pork into 1 inch strips. [The 1" strips were about 1/4 inch thick]

3. 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.

[I forgot the turmeric... it wasn't until later that I added to the Ziploc and kneaded the turmeric into the meat.]

[The pork was marinaded 24 hours and skewered right before cooking.]

Cooking Directions [I used my trusty George Foreman Grill and as an alternate a grill pan]:

4. Cook in the George Foreman about 7 minutes total time.

Note: The GFG cooks about 3 skewers at a time. This is a bottleneck in the whole process so I pulled out the grill pan to speed up the whole process.

For the Grill pan, about 5 to 7 and flip the skewer to cook the other side for another 5 to 7 minutes.

Peanut Sauce
3/4 cup coconut milk
4 Tbsp peanut butter
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1-2 dried red chilies, chopped

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.

[I toasted two chile pods and kept them whole.]

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.

Finished Results:

The Satay/"meat on a stick" was served family-style - over a bed of rice, spinach and peanut sauce. Extra peanut sauce was served on the side for those who wanted more.

I was tempted to make this dish more Thai-like by adding fish sauce in lieu of the soy sauce. However, I stuck with the recipe.

The flavor was very lemony [I like lemony!], but not overpowering with the cumin (which can smell like a stinky sock.)

My one problem was cutting the pork thinly (like I've seen in local restaurants) resulted in meat that was a little dry (just like the local restaurants).

A lesson learned is to try cutting the meat a little thicker and maybe using a fattier cut of pork.

Overall, the results were delicious.

Thanks Cuppy for the challenge.


Anna said...

Your satay marinade looks great! I love the overall resutl - would eat it all :)
Cheers! Anula.

Audax said...

Love your photo series as usual and the final result looks superb. And your marinade is so thick great work on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Australia Sydney.

Lauren said...

Looks fantastic! The marinade, the sauce, the finished satay - everything looks delicious!

Angelica said...

oh yum! great results and great pictures. Good job on the challenge!

Gadi Yosef said...

This look oh-so-good!

great stuff here, i'll be back!

Monkeyshines in the Kitchen said...

Your satays look great - we have a George Foreman too but opted to use the broiler instead. Nice looking photos from start to finish!

Lisa said...

John..I knew you would run away with this challenge! Your satay and phots are perfection! Well done as always!

teen girl said...

I can feel the taste just from the material, I think it look so delicious.

Eat4Fun said...

Gadi Yosef and Teen Girl:
Thank you for your kind comments! Please feel free to visit again. :-)

cuppy said...

Hmm... I somehow missed visiting your website last month.. Sorry. ;o

This looks wonderful, and I like how you served with rice like we do. :) I really need to get one of those little grills!