Wow! A very successful experiment tonight!
I tried four more recipes from Saveur, from the May 2011 edition this time, and they all worked.
Chicken Satay (Satay Ayam), Javanese Peanut Sauce (Saus Kacang Tanah), and two somewhat similar condiments: Thai Cucumber Relish (Ajad – which Saveur says they adapted from Thai Street Food, published by Ten Speed Press), and Javanese Cucumber and Carrot Pickle (Acar Timun). Everything was really good. D thought the Ajad (relish) was the best – it was extremely beautiful, and refreshing, crispy… just great!
The satay marinade made the chicken excellent all on its own, but the peanut sauce was a great addition, too. Yay! D gives this dinner a “1 week” rating. He suggests not having both relishes at the same dinner, b/c they are so similar, and I have to agree.
Here is the recipe for the Ajad, which was simplest: Stir 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar, 1/4 tsp kosher salt, and 1/4 cup boiling water in a bowl [presumably to dissolve the sugar and salt]. Let cool. Before serving, stir in 2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro [I used about 2x that much], 4 small shallots, sliced thin, and 1 small cucumber, quartered lengthwise and sliced thin. I made 1/2 recipe for the two of us and we had some left over. I used about 1/4 of an English cucumber, which was about right.
I inquired of the meat person at the Bowl whether the Bowl sold those latex gloves they all wear, so I could protect my fingers from the hot chilis. After pointing out which aisle they would probably be on if they had them at all, he sweetly grabbed a few gloves for me and stuffed them into the package of chicken 🙂 This made cutting up the chilis (used in 3 of the 4 recipes) so much easier!
We each ate three of the chicken skewers before we were done — just over half of what I made, which was just under half of the recipe (I bought 1.3 pounds of chicken and the recipe calls for 3 pounds).
I cooked up a cup of Thai jasmine rice, mixing it with 2 cups water, bringing to a boil and then to a simmer (covered) till done – less then 15 minutes. Rice is nice b/c it will just sit there steaming itself till you’re ready for it.
D had a bottle of Bear Boat Riesling in the fridge, and it was an excellent wine for this dinner. It especially liked the relish 🙂