Satay, January Daring Cooks
Actually, we are allowed to use any meat/veggie or meat substitute that you can imagine. Basically the challenge was for meat (or a sub) on a stick that is marinated, and then grilled (or broiled or fried). I have to thank Cuppy for creating such an open challenge that allows the Daring Cooks to put their own stamp on the challenge. I doubt very many will be making the same recipe. Here is the challenge recipe.
I was turned on by the idea of grilling in mid-January Alaska. Something about firing up the grill that makes summer seem that much closer. It was successful even though I had to shovel my way to the grills TWICE for this challenge.
Yes I have two grills. Sometimes you need charcoal and sometimes gas is just more convenient.
My first attempt was chicken thighs. I only cooked these because I wanted to harvest the chicken skin from them for a chicken skin satay. For the thighs I pulled together Cuppy’s marinade.
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 T ginger root, chopped (optional) (2 cm cubed)
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)
This was all whipped together in the food processor and then poured over thin sliced chicken thighs for 6 hours. I grilled over propane (“Taste the meat not the heat” Hank Hill) just for a quick test of the marinade and peanut sauce.
The peanut sauce I did as Cuppy suggested except I substituted cashews for peanut butter, used cilantro instead of ground coriander seeds, and added both dry and fresh chiles.
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)
Not much to look at but boy is it tasty. Although I frequent a local Thai place often, I have never ordered their satay. I did notice that the peanut sauce was very similar to a Thai panang curry. That curry is my favorite, bar none.
Now I felt free to experiment. I love that feeling. I started digging in the freezer and pulled out some delicious Elk round steak. This was sliced into thin strips and marinated in the following.
Ponzu, onion, garlic, Thai chiles, fish sauce, honey, rice vinegar, dried red chiles, sesame oil, ginger, and cilantro. All the marinade ingredients were just buzzed up in the food processor and then poured over the Elk.
It turned out amazing. Full of flavor and tenderized by the marinade.
The elk was very rich in iron and extremely lean. When I sliced it up, it reminded me of liver. Almost purple in color with very little fat. An incredibly high quality product to say the least.
This month’s challenge just kept inspiring more and more ideas. I still had that chicken skin saved and also wanted to try a ground meat version of satay. The chicken skin is what I can only describe as “chicken bacon”. That might sound a little off but it perfectly describes what just came off the grill.
The skin was marinated in a mix of sake, soy, palm sugar, oelek sambal, mirin, and sesame oil.
The more I learned about satay, the more I appreciated the importance of a charcoal or wood fire. So for the last two satays I fired up the Weber. I used a mix of charcoal and hickory chunks for the fire.
During grilling, I pulled the chicken skin skewers off the heat and dipped them into the marinade at least twice. It adds a sweet/salty component that is truly delicous. Lots of Umami. Just an app but I say the perfect crunchy, sweet, salt, fatty compliment to some simple cooked rice.
For my last satay, I went with ground moose. I mixed my locally available game with a traditional Indonesian ground meat recipe. In the food processor went, yellow onion, garlic, ginger, anchovy, scallion, cumin, cardomom, curry powder, cloves, dried chile, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of ground pumpkin seeds, cilantro, flour, and S&P. The pumpkin seeds were a sub for peanuts. I like the result.
This was mixed by hand into one pound of ground moose. It was a loose meat mixture and I ended up adding another 1/4 cup of flour to help the mix bind together.
This sat in the fridge to “marinate”. I also threw together a glaze of tamarind water, soy, palm sugar, and sesame oil. The tamarind water is just boiling water poured over tamarind paste that is then strained.
The meat was formed around skewers and then put onto a hot grill.
Several times during the grilling, brush the tamarind soy glaze over your skewers. It immediately smells wonderful. I realize they aren’t the most appetizing shape but they sure do smell delicious.
Todays lunch looked like this.
I tossed together a quick cucumber and shallot salad with rice vinegar, chile flake, scallion, sugar, and salt. It is so simple yet so delicious and the perfect side for some grilled meat on a stick.
This challenge was right up my alley and that probably explains all the variations. Just something about meat on a stick, cooked over fire that speaks to my cro-magnon brain. Thanks Cuppy for a great challenge.
Be sure to check out all the other Daring Cooks posts.