Gai Satay (chicken satay)

One of the things I loved about my year in Thailand was the ability to walk down the street at any time of day or night and purchase something grilled on a stick was awesome! I knew that was one of the first things I was gonna miss when I came home. In Khon Kaen, I loved getting grilled chicken on a stick with a peanut satay sauce. I never knew how to make it while there because each food stall has its own special recipe. So I searched the internet for every recipe I could find and NONE of them tasted like what I had in the land of smiles. Finally I came across my 'Real Thai' book by McDermott and I made this recipe. It tastes and smells like Thailand in my kitchen!

They say you can make this with beef but honestly because of its texture I wouldn't recommend it, stick with chicken or pork. If you don't have a grill then I suggest your broiler to cook the meat.

Chicken Marinade

1 c Coconut Milk
1 1/4 tsp fish sauce
1 1/4 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground tumeric
2 lbs chicken breast sliced 3 inches long by 1 inch thick

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix until all combined. Add the chicken to the bowl and let it marinade for 1-2 hours at least in the fridge.

2. Soak small Bamboo skewers in water until ready. Take the chicken from the fridge and skewer the slices on, you may be able to put 2 on each skewer.

3. Grill on each side for 3-4 min until you see a nice browning. Serve immediately or at room temp.

*If using a Broiler then make sure that you put the rack on the top most shelf and line a baking sheet with greased foil. Cook the chicken for the same amount of time.

Spicy Peanut Sauce

1/2 c Coconut Milk
2 Tbls Red Curry Paste
1/2 c Chunky (or smooth) Peanut Butter
1/2 c Chicken Stock
3 tbl Palm or Brown Sugar
2 tbl fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tbl fish sauce
1/4 tsp cayenne

1. Warm the coconut milk in a small sauce pan over medium heat until you see a gentle boil.

2. Add red curry paste and still occasionally until it dissolves in the milk. Approx: 3 min

3. Add the peanut butter, chicken stock, and sugar and cook gently until the sauce is smooth for about 5 min.

4. Remove from heat and add lime juice, fish sauce and cayenne if necessary. Let it sit till room temp until ready then just reheat slightly to make it easier to dip the chicken in. Eat and enjoy!


Avocado Salad with a Lime and Sesame Vinaigrette

In the summer I am not much for doing anything that increases heat in my already hot kitchen. I scour the internet, magazines, and books looking for anything that would allow me to not turn on my stove but still provide a great meal. This recipe also allows me to indulge in my love of avocados as well.

I found this recipe from a Good Housekeeping mag that my mom usually has lying around. I changed some things around as I do because sometimes I don't have everything in my kitchen. Though it says the vinaigrette is only good for three hours in the fridge, you can keep it for as long as you need. It doesn't go bad and actually after a few days the flavors get a bit stronger.

For the Dressing:
1 tbls sesame seeds
1/4 c fresh lime juice
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 tbls rice vinegar
1 tbls honey
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c vegetable oil

For the Salad:
4 c arugula leaves
1 c cherry or grape tomatoes cut in half
3 ripe avocados
1 large or medium red or white onion sliced thin

For Dressing:

1. Heat a skillet on medium-low heat and toast the sesame seeds on all sides for 3-5 min or until a light golden brown.
2. In a medium bowl whisk together lime juice, cilantro leaves, sesame seeds, honey and vinegar. Add salt and pepper.
3. Take the oils and whisk them slowly in  with the rest of the ingredients. Then transfer  to an air tight container and put in fridge.

For Salad (in case you really need the directions for creating a salad.:
1. Arrange the arugula on the plate then add the tomatoes and avocado.
2. Take a little dressing on the salad and serve.

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