Sunday, January 15, 2012

It's all about the sauce

MMMMmmmm Satay! who doesn't like meat on a stick with a yummy dipping sauce?
This simple satay is one of my favourites and what makes it so is the sauce. The satay skewers are the standard chicken that's been marinated for as long as you have time to do so, but really it's a platform for the amazing dipping sauce it is served with.
Quick grammar lesson!
The term marinate/marinade is often used interchangeably but the correct use is as follows:
A MarinaDe is the sauce you are using to MarinaTe the meat/fish/veg. Marinade is a noun, Marinate is a verb.

Back to the food. Satay is a great appy or light meal and also an ideal choice for finger food when having guests over for casual nibbles and drinks. The chicken marinade is not really a recipe as such, you can throw in what you like but this dipping sauce is from a Weight Watchers cookbook. The only difference I made is that I used full fat coconut milk not reduced fat as the recipe stated.

Chicken Satay with peanut dipping sauce (makes 8-10 skewers)
2 chicken breasts sliced into strips
2 garlic cloves, crushed
juice and zest of 1 lime
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tbsp fish sauce or soy sauce
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated

Dipping sauce
6 tbsp coconut milk
3 tbsp peanut butter
4 tsp honey
zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp fish sauce

Soak skewers in water for at least 30 mins. The challenge I find here is finding a vessel long enough that the skewers can lie flat to soak. I used a baking tray.
Mix up marinade for chicken and mix with chicken. Cover and chill for 30 mins-4 hours (however long you have).
Once ready, pre heat broiler/grill to high and lightly oil a baking tray.
Thread the chicken on to the skewers being careful not to pack it too densely otherwise it won't cook through.
cover ends of skewers with foil to prevent them burning.
Place skewers under broiler for a few minutes and then flip over to do other side.

While they are cooking, mix together the ingredients for the sauce and use a fork or whisk so it goes smooth. I have made the sauce a few times and really a recipe is not necessary and the measurements are to be used loosely. The peanut butter and coconut milk are the base so throw in what ever else you want. And don't be afraid of fish sauce. It really does not taste fishy and adds a great light saltiness to sauces and marinades. If you really don't want to use it or don't have it, use soy sauce but go easy on it as it's much saltier.

And that's it. When serving as a main, I usually like to have some steamed veggies on the side with a soy(or tamari) and toasted sesame oil drizzle, as pictured here:

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