Wolfgang Puck drops by with two recipes from his new cookbook "Wolfgang Puck Makes It Easy":
• Curried Chicken Satay with Fresh Mint-Soy Vinaigrette
Makes 24 skewers, 8 to 12 servings
My son Byron’s favorite dinner is chicken satay with rice. The slender Indonesian-style kebab skewers make an easy and attractive appetizer, and they’re great party food. Since the poultry is sliced so thinly, it needs hardly any time to soak up flavors during marinating and only two to four minutes to cook on a grill or under a broiler. For an easy family supper, try using a hinged countertop grill or panini maker. But be careful to clean out any juices that might drip into the pan after using.
For the chicken satay:
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil
For the mint-soy vinaigrette:
2 large egg yolks, beaten
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ cup regular or roasted peanut oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1. Soak two dozen 6-inch bamboo or wooden skewers in water for 30 to 60 minutes. With a sharp knife, cut each chicken breast lengthwise into twelve long, thing strips. Thread 1 strip onto each of the skewers, weaving the skewer back and forth along the length of each chicken strip. Arrange them on a large platter or baking tray.
2. To prepare the marinade, in a small bowl, combine the curry powder, pepper, salt, and cumin. Spoon the oil over the chicken strips, turning to coat them evenly, and then evenly sprinkle the dry ingredients over them on both sides. Cover the platter or tray with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour or longer.
3. Prepare the Mint-Soy Vinaigrette: In a food processor fitted with the steel blade or a blender, combine the egg yolks, vinegar, mint, soy sauce, and coriander. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the oil and continue processing until smooth. Transfer the dressing to a bowl, season to taste with salt and pepper, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.
4. Preheat a hinged indoor grill or panini maker, following the manufacturer’s instructions, or preheat a broiler, outdoor grill, or stovetop grill pan. Grill the skewers, in batches if necessary, until cooked through and nicely browned, about 2 minutes total on a hinged grill or panini maker, or 2 minutes per side in the broiler, in a grill pan, or on an outdoor grill. If using an indoor grill, take care that the skewers don’t prevent the grill or panini maker from closing properly.
5. Serve the skewers immediately, passing the vinaigrette for guests to drizzle over their own skewers or to use as a dip.
• Honey-Marinated Beef Satay with Spicy Butter Sauce
Makes 24 skewers, 8 to 12 servings
You can make this dish with good quality, tender New York strip or fillet, or with the less costly and more authentic skirt or flank steak that is used in Asian recipes for satay. If you use a quality meat like tenderloin tips or end cuts from a New York strip loin, you can cook the mean medium rare. The recipe, which has long been a favorite of mine, is adapted from the Szechuan beef satay that appeared in my book Adventures in the Kitchen (Random House 1991). Now I make it quite spontaneously using an indoor grill. You could also serve these skewers as a main dish, with rice and vegetables.
For the beef satay:
¾ pound New York strip or fillet steak, trimmed
½ cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
½ to 1 teaspoon chile flakes
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
For the sauce:
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2 plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 whole green onion, finely chopped
1 cup chicken stock
¼ cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce or your favorite barbecue sauce
1 teaspoon chile flakes
1. Soak two dozen 6-inch bamboo or wooden skewers in water for 30 to 60 minutes. Drain and pat dry. With a sharp knife, cut the steak into twenty-four long, thin strips. Thread 1 strip onto each skewer, weaving the skewer back and forth along the length f each steak strip. Arrange the skewers on a large platter or baking tray. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
2. About 30 minutes before you wish to grill the skewers, combine the soy sauce, honey chile flakes, cumin, turmeric, and oil in a small bowl. Pour this marinade over the steak skewers, turning to coat the meat evenly. Leave the steak skewers to marinate at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
3. Preheat a hinged grill or panini maker, following the manufacturer’s instructions, or preheat a broiler, outdoor grill, or stovetop grill pan.
4. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the garlic cloves, and blanch them in the boiling water for 30 seconds to a minute to remove some of their harshness. Drain the cloves well, pat them dry with paper towels, and chop them finely. In a small skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and green onion and saute just until they begin to soften and smell fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the stock, soy sauce, honey hoisin or barbecue sauce, and chile flakes and bring to a boil. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer. Pour the sauce through a strainer into a clean pan and, over medium heat, whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, a little bit at a time. Keep warm.
Grill the skewers (in batches if necessary to prevent overcrowding) until cooked through and nicely browned, about 2 minutes total on a hinged grill or panini maker or 2 minutes per side in the broiler, in a grill pan, or on an outdoor grill-1 minute if you want the meat rare. Take care that the skewers don’t prevent a hinged grill or panini maker from closing properly. Transfer to a platter, pour on the sauce, and serve. Or serve with the sauce on the side for dipping.