Saturday, July 26, 2008

Indonesian Beef Satay with Indo Fried Rice

Here we go.  We dove right into the Indonesian sweet soya sauce, Kecap Manis, and the spicy addition of something that's been in our refrigerator, Sambal Olek.  In Chinatown we picked up a pound of beef sirloin tip for about $4.50, 1 kg chicken breast for about $5, and 300 grams Prawns for about $4.  This is a great load of protein for many meals to come.

So tonight we made some beef satay and indonesian fried rice.  This was how it went down.

Beef Satay

1/4 cup Kecap Manis
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
1 thai chili pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 shallot

Add cubed beef to marinade and let sit refrigerated for about 4 hours.  I let it sit for about 2 and a half hours, and then brought it out of the fridge for another 30 minutes so the meat could warm up before we skewered it. 

Put 3-4 pieces on water soaked skewers and lay them out on your hot charcoal grill that you have prepared.  You can use any other hot cooking method that you want, but the charcoal grilling method is probably the best way to really caramelize the sugars coating your skewers.

Now for the Rice.  Make sure that you use rice that you've cooked and cooled.  That means either leftover long grain rice, or cook some rice and let it sit for a few hours.

Indonesian Rice

350 g long grain leftover rice
2 tbsp oil
3 eggs
1 onion
2 tbsp sambal olek (a type of chili sauce)
2 clove garlic
3 scallions sliced thin
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp curry powder
250 gm chicken, small diced
250 gm prawns (about 10 medium sized)
3 tbsp kecap manis (indonesian ketchup!)

Heat your wok to medium hot, add your oil and cook the egg until it's set. Set aside the egg.  Replenish oil, and add onion garlic and Sambal Olek (or chilies).  Cook until fragrant and onion is softening.  Add spices and stir for another minute.  Add the chicken and prawns.  After a couple of minutes they'll be pretty much done so add the rice.  Add the kecap manis and chopped up egg and the scallions.

Serve with the skewers and enjoy.

Indonesian Cuisine at Home

Have you ever played around with Indonesian cuisine at home? Most of the common ingredients are very similar to thai, vietnamese, and indian cuisine. Lime leaves, galangal root, tumeric root, coconut milk, corriander, cumin, cinnamon, lime, chilies, etc. However, the one standout ingredient that seems to define it is Kecap Manis (pronounced Ketchup - read about origin of Ketchup).

So right now, I've got some beef cubes marinating in a mix of kecap, garlic, chilies, ginger, and shallot. Later, I will be skewering these and grilling them. I fully expect a gorgeous caramelized exterior.

With this, we're also making an Indonesian rice dish that is made with mostly ingredients that we usually have, with the addition of the magical sweet soy sauce called kecap manis.

I will post some photos if my wife hasn't packed my camera 

for dessert, we're going to try out an indonesian treat called es cendol that looks gross, but is probably delicious. Green "worms" (some kind of green bean flour thing), coconut milk, palm sugar syrup and crushed ice.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Grilled Duck Breast by Bobby Flay

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Grilled Scallions

Our friend Jay posted on the foodeeze message board how incredibly surprisingly tasty grilled green onions really are. So, tonight with a salmon meal, we decided to take his challenge, despite the fact that he didn't challenge anyone to anything. This is most likely best used as a garnish or condiment. We draped these over our salmon and had a bit with every bite.

1 bunch scallions
olive oil

  1. Start coals and get them hot (or use a gas grill if you're a pussy.)
  2. Brush the scallions with oil.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. lay scallions over direct heat.
  5. turn after about 2 minutes. should have some dark spots.
  6. remove from heat after another 2 minutes.
  7. serve.

Dressed and placed on the grill.

After about 2 minutes over hot coals.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Grilled Chicken and Strawberry Couscous Salad

I hesitate to make this recipe public as it's such a favorite of our guests. I'd hate for everyone to know how simple it is to make! Here's an easy salad that we eat both as a main dish with a nice baguette or often as a side when we're entertaining. Sweet strawberries are a nice contrast to the spinach and slightly salty feta cheese. Note that all the food groups (grains, meat, vegetables and dairy) make this a complete and healthy meal.

This can be served warm, room temperature or cold. It's also terrific for leftovers the next day.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt, pepper and vegetable oil
1 tbsp. dijon mustard (a good, grainy type is best)
1 1/4 cup chicken stock
1 cup couscous
2 cups strawberries
2 cups baby spinach, coursley chopped
3 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
We often chop whatever kind of hot pepper we have in the fridge into this as well, but it's not necessary.

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper and brush lightly with oil. Place on the grill for 3 minutes per side. Brush with mustard, grill until no longer pink inside, 6-8 minutes.

2. Bring chicken stock to a boil, pour over couscous in a large salad bowl and cover to keep warm.

3. Slice chicken into cubes. Cut strawberries into halves or quarters (depending on size). Add couscous with spinach, green onions, feta, parsley, olive oil and lemon juice; toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Lone Star Salsa

This is quite literally the best salsa you can make at home with minimal effort and plenty of room to extend.

1-28 Oz can of dice tomatoes
3-4 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced (no need to peel)
1-156 ml can of tomato paste
3 tbsp chopped jalapeno
3/4 cup Spanish or red onion
1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
3 tsp salt
2 tsp fresh chopped garlic

put all ingredients in a blender, cuisinart or use a hand held chopper to crush all ingredients together. You can adjust the cilantro if you wish. If you like it spicy, leave in the jalapeno seeds.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Spicy Lemon Marinated Shrimp

Recently, while attending close friends' engagement party, we had the pleasure of enjoying some wonderful food that the sister of the bride-to-be served. The hit of the party was this shrimp recipe. We finally got our hands on it, so here it is!

1 large lemon
1½ tablespoons coriander seeds
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon sugar
½ tablespoon dried hot pepper flakes
1 tablespoon plus 2½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons pickling spices
1 pound large (U 16/20) shrimp, shelled and deveined

Remove zest from lemons, leaving white pith behind. Squeeze 3 tablespoons lemon juice.

Finely grind coriander seeds in an electric coffee grinder (or grind with a pestle and mortar). Whisk together zest, juice, coriander, vinegar, oil, water, sugar, hot pepper flakes, and 1 tablespoon kosher salt in a large bowl until sugar and salt are dissolved.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil with pickling spices and remaining 2½ teaspoons kosher salt, and cook shrimp all at once 1½ minutes, or until just cooked through. Transfer cooked shrimp with a slotted spoon to a colander to drain and add warm shrimp to marinade, tossing to coat.

Cool shrimp slightly, and transfer to a large sealable freezer bag along with the marinade.

Place bag in a large roasting pan, keeping shrimp in a single layer. Marinate, chilled, turning bag occasionally, at least 8 hours. You can marinate the shrimp up to 3 days.

Drain shrimp before serving.

From Gourmet magazine (

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