Saturday Archive | Spruced Up Basics

Good day people. Sometimes it is difficult to come up with new recipes to cook for dinner. The daily routines and dinner menu can become boring and mundane. After all, there’s only so  much you can do with chicken!

In this day and age we all have busy lifestyles, and are always looking for quick and easy recipes to feed our families or ourselves.  Sometimes our typical chicken and rice or meat and potatoes can get a bit boring, so here is a simple way to give your boring chicken a kick.

Satay (sate’ in Indonesian) is made of cubed meat, skewered kebab-fashion, then grilled and eaten with a peanut sauce dip. Tracing its origins to the Arabs, the satay has adapted to the multi-cultural palates of Asians with various spicy sauces and different ways of marinating the meats.

Being simple to do, you can serve the chicken sate’ with white or brown rice and maybe some vegetables.

Chicken Sate’

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tsp. salt
2 pinches freshly ground white pepper
Juice of 1 lime
2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1×3 strips, or 5 boneless,
skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1″ cubes

Put garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and mash into a paste with the back of a wooden spoon. Stir in lime juice, add chicken, and toss until well-coated. Cover, refrigerate, and allow to marinate for 2 hours.

Peanut Sauce
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 small shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, peeled and minced
1⁄4 tsp. vegetable paste
2 cups chicken stock
1⁄2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, preferably Spanish
peanuts, ground to a paste
1⁄4 tsp. grated ginger
2 red thai chiles, stemmed and finely chopped
1⁄2 tsp. dark brown sugar
Juice of half a lime

Heat oil in a heavy medium pan over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in vegetable paste, mashing with the back of a spoon, and cook for 1 minute. Add stock, bring to a boil, then stir in ground peanuts, ginger, chiles, and sugar, and simmer, stirring often, until sauce thickens to a loose paste, about 20 minutes. Keep sauce warm over low heat, adding lime juice just before serving. (Add a little water to thin sauce, if necessary.) Transfer sauce to a serving bowl.

Chicken Sate with Peanut Sauce


Now this does not take long at all to make, and the step that takes the most time is the marinating of the chicken.  You can run an errand or two while you are doing that, but here is another bonus I am sharing that you can do while you wait on the chicken to marinate. A cocktail!!


With a spicy sauce and chicken sate’, you will need something cool and refreshing to clear your palette. An nothing is more refreshing than a cucumber basil martini.

Cucumber Basil Martini

1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon hot water
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
One 3-inch piece of cucumber—peeled, seeded and diced, plus 1 round for garnish
2 ounces gin
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar in the hot water. Press the grated ginger through a fine strainer set over the bowl, releasing the juice.

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the diced cucumber with the 2 torn basil leaves. Add the ginger syrup, gin, lime juice and a handful of ice. Shake well, then strain into a martini glass. Garnish the martini with the cucumber slice and the remaining whole basil leaf and serve.

For a non alcoholic version of this, you can use tonic water or lemonade instead of gin. It is just as refreshing!

This will surely give your dinner a kick and your family or friends will have something to talk about at the dinner table.

Bon apetit!


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