Sunday, July 1, 2012

Grilled Pork Satays and Peanut Sauce for #SundaySupper


Next week is July 4, Independence Day, that most American of holidays. To mark the occasion, this week's #SundaySupper theme is celebrating with family and friends. To me, a summer celebration is incomplete if you don't fire up the grill. What can I say? I love the grill. I loved the flavor of the smoke; I love how elemental and self-sufficient it is.


Grilling is also how I remember the most festive celebrations of my childhood. In the white light of summer, my cousin and I would run around in the woods until the call floated through the cool twilight air, "Dinner's ready!" My mother's signature dish was always chicken or beef satays served with peanut sauce. All the cooks in my family wanted her recipe, but she still keeps it a secret to this day.


In part to honor that treasured memory and my mom and in part to try and swipe that dish (sorry mom), I decided to try to re-create something like her satays and peanut sauce. And I think I've succeeded pretty well. I used pork instead of chicken or beef (because most of the meat I eat comes from Haskins Family Farm, who sell mainly pork and chicken), and I served it with some grilled corn and a super-simple salad of cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and vinegar instead of a baked potato with sour cream, but I stayed true to the memory of family festivities.


Although the meal has a distinctly Asian flavor, it celebrates the history of America by highlighting some New World ingredients, such as peanuts, and showcasing how they incorporated themselves seamlessly into dishes from faraway lands. Other ingredients that have become pillars of Old World cuisines but originated here in the Americas are tomatoes and peppers. How much more American can it get to celebrate a gracious and delicious expression of the melting pot?


For this dish, you will need some wooden skewers (which you can get at most grocery stores). To minimize burning them, soak them in water for at least an hour before you thread the meat on them. Also, be prepared to get your hands messy. It's just that kind of dish.

Ingredients
FOR THE MARINADE

  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 rice wine
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tbsps honey
  • 1 tsp dried ginger (or 1 Tbsp fresh, chopped, if you have it)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2-3 lbs pork loin, cut into 1-inch cubes
FOR THE PEANUT SAUCE

  • 1 16-oz can light unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 shallot, chopped finely
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsps vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • salt to taste
  • chopped chives or green onions (optional)



Directions

  1. Combine the marinade ingredients with the meat in a ziplock bag. Push as much of the air out of the bag as possible. Place the bag in a bowl or on a plate and refrigerate for at least six hours up to 24. Flip the bag a few times while it's marinating.
  2. About two hours before you plan to grill the meat, grab a handful of skewers and soak them in water. (Don't worry about using too many; you can re-use the ones you didn't use, just let them dry out a bit.)
  3. About an hour before grilling, get the meat out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature (or thereabouts). 
  4. Start your grill. You will be using pretty high, direct heat for this dish.  
  5. Thread the meat cubes onto the skewers (about eight cubes per stick). 
  6. While you wait for the grill to come up to temp, make the peanut sauce. In small sauce pan, heat the vegetable and add the shallots. Let them brown a bit. 
  7. Add the coconut milk to the pan. Mix in the peanut butter, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, and salt. As it cooks, it will thicken a bit. Keep it warm.
  8. Grill the satays, turning them about a quarter turn every two to three minutes. 
  9. Serve the satays with the peanut sauce, sprinkle some chives or green onions on top.  
And don't forget to check out the delicious dishes that the rest of the #SundaySupper group is serving up for the 4th of July!


Main Dishes:

Salads and Sides:
Desserts:
Fabulous Pairings by Martin from ENOFYLZ

29 comments:

  1. I have bookmarked this recipe and will be making it soon. Love pork satay and have been looking for a good peanut sauce recipe too. Thanks for sharing this one!

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    1. You are welcome. The marinade and the peanut sauce are very easy. The only thing that's a little tricky is judging the doneness of the meat, but you kind of get a feel for it.

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  2. Your pork satays look so yummy, I really love all things satays, so I can't imagine I wouldn't eat these right up. Great recipe and perfect for #SundaySupper!

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    1. Meat on a stick!? Sign me up. I love satays in all forms. I hope you enjoy it.

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  3. I love peanut sauce, but I've never made it at home! I can only imagine how perfect this dish is! YUM!

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    1. Peanut sauce is one of the best things ever. I absolutely love it. And it's not hard to make.

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  4. I´m with you on the grilling, I would barbecue every day if I could. I never had peanut sauce, but I can´t see how it can´t be anything but delectable with those yummy kebabs!

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    1. Oh my gosh, you've never had peanut sauce!? You must try it immediately. It is sooooooo good.

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  5. Hi Tora,

    I enjoyed reading your narrative for this post. It brought back childhood memories of me playing with friends and hearing the call for dinner. I also enjoyed looking at your photos and I appreciate the composition and the food elements you used to evoke outdoor food and fun.

    Alaiyo

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    1. Thanks so much, Alaiyo! I'm still learning how to make food look good in photos, but I was pretty happy with the way these turned out.

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  6. I'm not a peanut fan (they almost took away my born-in-Virginia card because of this), but there are many people in my family who would LOVE this. My uncle is famous for his peanut butter-based BBQ sauce.

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    1. I am not a huge fan of peanuts in sweets (apparently this is explained by the fact that I was European for most of my life according to my husband), but I really like them in savory dishes. Peanut-butter based BBQ sauce sounds really interesting.

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  7. yum! Daddy F will love this recipe. I think he would enjoy a "peanut only" recipe diet!

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  8. My sister-in-laws favourite thing is peanut sauté sauce. Since her birthday is coming up I think I might surprise her and try this recipe out.

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    1. Oh, you definitely should. It is so good and really easy to make.

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  9. Wow, that peanut sauce sounds AH-MAZING!

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    1. It's so tasty and so easy to make. Also, if you end up with a little left over, just add a tablespoon or two or two of rice wine vinegar to make a delicious vinaigrette the next day. Yum.

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  10. I love satay, but I'm not such a fan of peanut sauce. You are making me want to give it another try!

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    1. Oh go on, give it a whirl. I am sure you will like it. :)

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  11. I love satay! I usually make it with chicken, but we are also big fans of pork - so I know this would be a huge hit!

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    1. Pork is what I had available. You could probably do pretty much the same preparation with beef or chicken and enjoy it at least as much.

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  12. Mmm sounds and looks so delicious! I've recently rediscovered my love for peanuts. Need to give this a try.

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    1. It is so good, and the peanut sauce is so easy to make. It would go very well with other grilled meats as well.

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  13. I've never seen meat on a stick that I didn't like. It just tastes better when it's on a stick. This pork satay looks delicious.

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    1. I know! What it is about putting food on sticks that makes it so good? It's weird.

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  14. Satay and peanut sauce is my favorite and yours looks especially amazing! Yum.

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    1. Aw thanks! Let me know when you try it and tell me what you think about it.

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  15. nice posting. thanks for sharing

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