>> Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Since I cook often and have a food blog, people assume that it’s always been my hobby, something that isn’t learnt but more innate. To be honest, I was quite a picky eater when I was young. Playing with my friends was way more interesting than dinner time. I was more enamored with the outdoors then helping my parents with cooking, which at the time I saw more of as a chore then a hobby. So it’s really quite interesting how over the years, cooking and baking has really evolved to become something that’s such a large part of who I am. I did have my parents that triggered a part of it, but even so, something in me just transformed one day and I wanted to learn anything and everything about food. Ever since then, a little bit at a time, I started to learn about the different techniques and diverse cuisines of the world. So to those that feel they will never be able to cook, I say with everything, it just takes the will and a bit of time. If you’re interested in learning, there is nothing that can’t be accomplished.
I suggest starting with simple recipes that are slightly more forgiving, such as this Beef Satay recipe below. I’ve listed amounts required for each ingredient but it’s really just a rule of thumb. When I prepared the marinade, it was a bit of this and a dash of that. For recipe purposes, I estimated how much of each ingredient I used so it was easier to follow then providing ratios of ingredients. Marinades are some of the easiest things to prepare because you can always adjust the flavor of the dish with a bit of seasoning when it’s served. That said, just make sure to err on the less seasoned side because if the marinade is too salty, it’s often difficult to save the dish.
So for those venturing in to the cooking world, welcome! I can’t wait to see your creations and please share with me all your lovely dishes!
Beef Satay Ingredients:
1 lb beef, cut into 1 inch by 1/2 inch chunks (preferably a tender cut that doesn’t require a long cooking time)
2 stalks lemongrass, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, grated or minced
2 tbsp coriander
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce
Beef Satay Preparation:
In a mixing bowl, combine lemongrass, garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, curry powder, sugar, fish sauce and soy sauce.
Alternatively, you can add the ingredients in a food processor, this will create a paste and you can then use it as a rub for the beef. I prefer to have little bits of the lemongrass and garlic, which is more rustic.
Add in the beef and make sure to cover each piece with the marinade.
Cover and place in the fridge. Let the beef marinate for at least 30 mins to an hour.
Preheat the oven at 375ºC or BBQ grill.
Meanwhile, soak bamboo skewers in water.
Skewer the pieces of beef. Remember to leave a bit of space between each.
Place on a cooking sheet and put in the oven for 15-20 minutes (pour the rest of the marinade on the skewers) or cook on the grill for 15 minutes and occasionally baste with the marinade.
While the skewers are cooking, prepare the peanut dipping sauce.
Peanut Dipping Sauce Ingredients:
3 tbsp smooth or crunchy natural peanut butter (I prefer smooth, but either one works)
2 tbsp low sodium light soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
5 tbsp water
1 tbsp garlic chili sauce
Peanut Dipping Sauce Preparation:
In a small sauce pan, add in peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, water and chili sauce.
Place the sauce pan over low heat, slowly stirring the mixture.
Try to break apart the gooey peanut butter and do not let the sauce burn on the bottom. If need to, turn the heat down to the lowest setting.
Continue stirring until all the ingredients is fully combined. Add a bit of salt to taste, or you may find that it’s not required. For those who are not looking for the spiciness, omit the chilies for a mild peanut sauce.
Full recipe serves 3-4