Big news in our household. Huge.
Evan is eating meat again.
This may be even bigger news than our engagement for me and my extended family. In my family, cooking for other people is a huge ordeal and gesture. When cooking for others, we feel obligated to accommodate all types of dietary restrictions. The most difficult is, of course, vegetarianism.
For years my family has bent over backwards for him* always making sure there is an equivalent vegetarian option so he doesn’t feel left out. It always pained me to see my family do this since I knew Evan wasn’t picky, but in the least Evan was completely touched and moved each time. My mom always has a frozen potato au gratin and veggie burgers in the freezer in case Evan comes over, or my Aunt Dima literally hand carried a bag of vegetarian spring rolls from Virginia to California. That is love, obsessive compulsive disorder, or maybe both. Whatever it is, I have it too.
Anyways, in this excitement I prepared a bunch of chicken satay skewers for my friend Tenille to come over, and they were a huge hit. It was my first time making it, and I was surprised at how easy and tastey it was. Here is the variation I used of this recipe:
- 2 pounds of chicken, diced into 1-2 inch peices
- 2 cloves of garlic
- one thumb of ginger
- 2 tablespoons of white sugar
- 2 teaspoons of sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons of canola/vegetable/sunflower oil
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon of tumeric
- 1 tablespoon of cayanne pepper
- 1 handfull of chopped cilantro
- 2 shallot onions
- 1/4 cup of lemongrass
I blended all ingredients (except chicken) into a food processor until smooth. I poured the mixture over the chicken (mixing to coat evenly around each piece) and marinated in the fridge for about 2 hours (minimum 1 hour, maixmum 24 hours). I had planned to broil them as the recipe suggested, but couldn’t get my oven’s broiler to work (Oh, India.). I instead pan fried them on a cast iron grill pan, but the results were fabulous. Let’s just say I was happy the oven wasn’t funcitonal. Notes: 1) make sure to soak your skewers beforehand so they will not burn and 2) when skewing raw chicken, try and pierce them lengthwise for easier handling while cooking later.
At the last minute our (vegetarian) friends were able to make it to dinner, so I quickly hard-boiled some eggs to make some last minute skewers “egg” skewers. They didn’t quite match up to the chicken, so I friend some onions to top them which made them a little more fancy and fun. I also used the oil from the fried onions to flavor the noodle dish also featured in the picture below, but I figure we can only handle so many recipes in a post, as you and I both have limited attention spans.
FYI – I also made a peanut dipping sauce – but I wasn’t crazy about it (though the bowl was literally wiped clean at the end of the meal, so I may have been a minority). I’m going to try another recipe next time and hopefully have better results to share. In the meantime, make some meat and vegetarian food for the ones you love. Enjoy!
*Full disclosure – I was also a vegetarian for about a year in my early 20’s. My family still talks about it like a time I ran off and joined the circus. A sad, sad circus without fried pork spring rolls or beef noodle soup.