23 July 2007

Lady's Night Out...an Eclectic Menu- Thai Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce & Coconut Rice

Tomato Feta and Basil Tart
My best girl "buds" and I get together at least once a month to catch up on each others lives. At one point we all worked together in the same office, but, times have changed and we have our separate lives and careers. Sometimes we venture out to dinner to our favourite local restaurants and sometimes we share a wonderful meal at our homes. It is always just an excuse to get together and sip wine and nosh on wonderful food!!

During the busy summer months we have to steal the time when we can between visiting relatives and friends, work schedules and kids.

This time we were at Lani's. She always puts on such a wonderful spread and decorates her table so beautifully. No paper plates and styrofoam here!!! This month was a Thai inspired menu, with a few other nationalities and favourites thrown in.

It was requested that I make my famous (at least in our circle) Tomato Feta and Basil Tart which is really a French-inspired dish. The recipe is already on my blog under "Great Beginnings"

Next we prepared an appetizer of Poached Salmon with Piquant Sauce and Beets.

For the main entree we had "Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce". I don't know Lani's recipe but this is mine.

**Chicken Satay**

1-1/2 lbs boneless chicken breast
1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
3 - 4 shallots, peeled and sliced thinly crosswise
1 stalk fresh lemon grass, sliced thinly crosswise
1/4-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoon  sugar
20 bamboo skewers
2 tablespoons cooking oil, canola or peanut

Slice boneless chicken breast into long thin slices, approximately 1/4-inch thick and 2-inches in length. Pat dry with paper towels. Dry roast coriander seeds for a minute or two in a wok over medium heat to roast lightly, stirring constantly. Grind the coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle or electric coffee grinder. Combine all the spices with the shallot, lemon grass, ginger and garlic together in a bowl. Add the chicken pieces to the marinade and mix well to cover meat. Allow to marinate for at least an hour or overnight.

Before cooking, soak bamboo skewers in water for at least 10 minutes, so that they will not burn. Skewer 2 - 3 pieces of chicken onto each stick. Grill over a hot fire until cooked through. Baste with cooking oil after turning.

**Peanut Sauce**

2/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
1-1/2 cups coconut milk, unsweetened
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons molasses (or brown sugar)
1 teaspoon fresh ginger root, grated
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 pinch cayenne pepper
lime zest, grated
6 fresh cilantro sprigs

Combine all ingredients through to garlic in a saucepan. Season to taste with cayenne pepper. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce is a thick as heavy cream, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a food processor or blender and puree briefly. Add chicken broth and cream and blend until smooth. This mixture may be made several hours ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.

**Coconut Rice**

2 cups Thai jasmine-scented rice
2 cups good quality coconut milk
1-3/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon canola or other vegetable oil
2 teaspoon dry shredded coconut, toasted

Rub oil over the bottom of a deep-sided pot. The pot will need a tight fitting lid. Place rice, coconut milk, water and salt in the pot. Place pot on the stove over medium to high heat. Stir well. Continue to stir occasionally until the coconut milk and water come to a bubbling boil (stirring will keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning).

Once the rice has begun to bubble, stop stirring. Turn down the heat to medium,-low. Place lid askew on the pot, so that it is at least 3/4 covered. Allow to simmer in this way for 15 - 20 minutes, or until rice has absorbed most of the coconut water. Now turn off the heat, but leave the pot on the burner. Cover the pot tightly with the lid ands allow to sit 5 - 10 minutes, or until the rest of liquid has been absorbed. Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Sprinkle with toasted coconut when serving.

And finally for dessert we invented barbecued fresh Pineapple with Rum, Cinnamon and Coconut Milk Glaze with Mango and Peach Sorbet on the side. Mmmmmm!!!!

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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