Friday, July 14, 2017

Gado Gado and Chicken Satay

This Sunday at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market, you can expect to find pastured meat and eggs from Fair Valley Farm, fresh cut flower bouquets from Tiger Lily Art Company, and fresh produce from Camas Swale Farm including:

strawberries (make some fresh fruit crepes)

last of the snap peas
beets (try this quinoa and beet salad with roasted kale)
potatoes (make some gado gado below)
summer squashes
onions (make this addictive cumin lamb with seared onions and Fair Valley Farm lamb)
salad mix
chard (why not bake a chard and bacon tart with Fair Valley Farm bacon)

When we were in Bali a few weeks ago, we took at cooking class at a restaurant in Ubud, Cafe Wayan, where we made (clockwise from top left) eggplant with sambal balado, chicken satay with peanut sauce, chicken curry in coconut milk, and a Balinese grilled fish salad.  

It all tasted wonderfully exotic, but in fact many of the ingredients were ones we have in our kitchen, and the flavors came from how they were combined, often in complex ground pastes, or cooked in unexpected ways. For example, the peanut sauce for the chicken satay, unlike our regular peanut sauce for noodles, was made by grinding fried peanuts with garlic and some tomato and then simmering in a pan with water. 

Last week we recreated this recipe at home, along with another Indonesia dish called gado gado, a composed salad of boiled and fresh vegetables that is also served with peanut sauce. We made a trip to Sunrise Market for small peanuts, kecap manis (a sweet soy sauce), palm sugar, and prawn crackers (little discs that puff up when fried and are traditionally served with gado gado).   

All the vegetables we sourced from the Fairmount Farmers Market, including fingerling potatoes, green beans, cabbage, cucumbers, and carrots. Almost anything could go into gado gado, so it is the perfect farmers market dish for any season, and once you've made a big batch of peanut sauce, the rest of the recipe scales easily for a crowd.

We served ours with hard boiled eggs and fried tempe, with chicken satay skewers on the side. It was a wonderful meal for reminiscing about our recent trip and my husband's family's years spent in Indonesia long ago.  

Gado Gado

peanut sauce (recipe follows)
lightly steamed cabbage leaves
boiled little potatoes
blanched green beans
fresh cucumbers and carrots
other steamed or fresh vegetables of your choice
hard boiled eggs
tempe or tofu, sliced into thin strips and fried
prawn crisps and sambal oelek for serving

Prepare all of the vegetables, the hard boiled eggs, and the fried tempe or tofu. Serve with peanut sauce, fried prawn crisps, and sambal oelek.

Peanut Sauce (Bumbu Kacang) 
from Cafe Wayan (for four servings of gado gado)
100 ml water
100 g small peanuts (often called Spanish peanuts)
canola oil as needed for frying the peanuts
1 slice tomato
1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp palm sugar (or use white sugar)
a pinch of salt
1 Tbsp kecap manis (sweet soy sauce, or use regular soy sauce and 1 tsp sugar)
1 tsp tamarind paste or lime juice to taste

If using fresh, small peanuts, fry them in a small amount of canola oil until they harden and become fragrant. Drain on paper towels and season with a pinch of salt. Grind all of the ingredients together with a mortar and pestle or in a food processor. Place in a pan with 1/4 cup water and simmer over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking. Then add 1 Tbsp kecap manis and 1 tsp of tamarind paste. Combine, taste, and if needed add more salt, sugar, tamarind paste, or lime juice.

Chicken Satay (Sate Ayam)
from Cafe Wayan (serves four as an appetizer) 
1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp oil such as canola
3 Tbsp kecap manis (sweet soy sauce, or use regular 3 Tbsp soy sauce and 1 Tbsp sugar)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
mild chili
salt and pepper

Mix the ingredients thoroughly. It's best if you can marinate the chicken for several hours or up to a day. Thread the chicken cubes onto skewers and grill until cooked. Serve with peanut sauce.

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