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Thai Chicken Skewers with Peanut dipping sauce “Satay Moo Gai or Nua”

Hello from Thailand todays lesson is one of my favourite street foods in Bangkok.  Photos shown is pork skewers but I prefer the tender dark meat chicken skewers, either meat will marinate nicely so follow along with my set of image and easy recipe for making this famous Signature Street Food of mini bbq skewers in a spicy peanut sauce.  My sauce has a few items the “Street Vendors” do not use, we have kicked this sauce up a notch taste wise, my spicy sauce is way better.  You will not be disappointed as your guest try and guess how you made it, share this recipe or keep it to yourself as a family secret, you decide.

This is a two part recipe one for the marinate of the meat and then the peanut sauce.  Let us get started, I have my passion fruit ice tea ready, you go grab a cool tall iced tropical drink too, help to get you into the tropical mood for this appetizers that can be prepared a day in advance to your party, save in refrigerator ready to bbq when your guest arrive.

 

THAI CHICKEN SKEWERS WITH SPICY PEANUT DIPPING SAUCE

Marinade Recipe   This is for two people just keep doubling up the recipe for more guest you plan on having

150 grams [pork or chicken dark meat] cut thinly into strips about 1.5 inch wide 9 to 10 strips

1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin seeds [sub powder in a jar]

1/2 teaspoon roasted coriander seeds [sub powder in a jar]

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon palm sugar [sub dark brown sugar]

1 teaspoon vegetable oil [ not olive oil]

1 teaspoon garlic minced

1 pinch of salt

1/4 cup of coconut milk [canned or carton coconut milk or cream is fine]

 

TOOLS

1 small bowl for the marinate

1 bbq grill pan

1 tongs to turn skewers

1 mortar and pestle [ or use all supermarket bottles of ground powder spice items not seeds]

1 hand latex plastic glove

1 can of Pam spray for the grill

 

TO START

1. Use a mortar and pestle, grind coriander seeds, cumin seeds. Then pound all the rest of the ingredients in mortar, salt, garlic, oil, palm sugar, curry powder, turmeric powder, into a paste.

2. Mix this paste with the coconut milk in a bowl and add the meat.

3. Glove up!  using your gloved hand to mush n mix meat around till coated. Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate minimum 3 + hours or overnight is better.

4. Next day: Remove form refrigerator skewer up the meat, see the zig zag method in the image, small skewers work fine.  Soak skewers in water for 30 minutes prior to skewering up.

5. BBQ over hot hardwood charcoal or on a bbq grate grill pan medium heat works fine too.

6. Grill up skewers of fresh pineapple chucks with red & green chile peppers as a balance to the peanut dipping sauce and adds a bit of colour to your plate, eating with your eyes !

 

SPICY PEANUT SAUCE

double up this recipe as needed for the number of guest your planning on having  this is a two person recipe

2 tablespoons of roasted peanuts no salt [sub crunchy “Natural style” peanut butter, in fact easier to make this sauce using the jar than fresh peanuts]**

2 teaspoons tamarind paste

1 tablespoon Massa Man curry paste

2 teaspoons palm sugar [sub dark brown sugar]

6 tablespoons coconut milk

pinch of salt

 

TOOLS

1 small fry pan non-stick is great

1 wooden spoon to stir

1 motar and pestle grind peanuts  [sub- use jar of Natural peanut butter]

serving up, get ready small flat serving dish for each guest as a dipping bowl

 

TO START

1. Grind the peanuts into a paste [sub-use crunchy peanut butter]

2. Pour coconut milk into a pan over medium heat

3. add Massa Man curry paste, stir until the sauce becomes smooth, see photos

4.  combine all the remaining ingredients, palm sugar, tamarind paste, salt, peanut butter, stir mix to a slight boil, simmer for 20 seconds,

5. add these secret spices, cumin and to be announced spice stir in,

6. Stir mixture as a sauce, too thick, add a bit more coconut milk

 

YOU ARE  FINISHED

pour into small individual plates, one for each guest to dip

 

Here is this entire process in a set of images to follow along, read the recipe  the see the images to see this is really not that hard to make a great party appetizer !!   really really easy.

 

 

This next item I found out how to make coconut milk the Thai way.  I am sure other islands in the Pacific do this in a similar fashion but wished to share with you the process.  Now for me in the Asian food isle of my local supermarket is Coconut Milk or Coconut Cream, both are about the same will do just fine in a carton or can for cooking.

They start with a ripe coconut not a green coconut like you get served a tropical drink in during your last  bar visit to a”tropical island paradise”.  This is a seasoned coconut with a soft texture inside.  The method of shredding the coconut out of the shell is my hand with a tool called a Rabbit.  Why? called a Rabbit?  My question exactly too.  A rabbit has two big front teeth, so to get the coconut out of the shell they use a scrapper with graded notched stainless steel plate, like the rabbits two front teeth, see the photo of the coconut shredder rabbit to get the idea.  They even sell a wooden carved rabbit with the shredder attachment on the front, cute.

Coconut is shredded into a basket, next they add warm water to the mixture, then by hand take the coconut and squeeze out the juice into a bowl, juice is the milk in this case.  A photo tells a thousand words, take a look at the process and you too will be on the supermarket isle with me, looking for my can of coconut milk, as this is a lot of work !!  We will not even begin to tell you how they split open the coconut into two halves, that is for another story.

If you really want your Thai food to be traditionally real, then here is how to do it, knock yourself out, Coconut Milk the Thai way.

 

** special note on Peanut Butter.  You are looking for the jar of Natural Peanut butter, not the jar label says “peanut spread” or the one where the ingredients list is so long and you can not pronounce the words of items in the jar, you want the Natural one on the front label. Peanuts should be the first ingredient, nothing else.
Russell Freeman on Google+!

LINCOLN 1863 created Thanksgiving for all of us to be thankful

Thanksgiving inspiration for the day, from my daughter Natalie Ann.
In 1863 Lincoln made Thanksgiving a National Holiday. In the depths of the Civil War, Lincoln proclaimed that the nation needs to be thankful for the “bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come…” Lincoln goes on to establish a day of giving thanks: “I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, …, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” The purpose of Lincoln’s Thanskgiving was to take a moment to ask God “…to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it… to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.” “Proclamation of Thanksgiving (October 3, 1863)”. Abraham Lincoln Online. Retrieved 2010-11-24.

Though Lincoln himself was clearly a follower of God, his message resonates even if you aren’t. Because whatever your faith, you can still probably give thanks for many things. Give thanks for the men who fought in the Civil War, or the men who are fighting current wars in the Middle East, far from their families, stuffed birds and delicious pie this weekend. Give thanks for your family, your friends, your job, your “bounties”. Give thanks for pumpkin pie and a well deserved day off.

Give thanks to whoever you want, for whatever you want, but take a moment to be grateful.

Secondly, don’t shop this weekend. Be thankful for what you already have. Because the pre lit Christmas tree, the holiday ribbon Bow-Tique, the American Girl crafts and the Crayola activity kits you were going to buy, they can wait.
Russell Freeman on Google+!

Medellin Colombia Blue Hour Twilight view

Hello again, this is Russell.  I have moved the office back to Medellin Colombia.  We are on top floor of a new building located on the hillsides of the valley called Medellin.  The area is Poblado, the true Beverly Hills of South America.

Here are a few images taken a few days ago from the office patio, nothing special done to change them in Photoshop, actually nothing.  These are right out of camera, the Canon 7D 16-35mm Canon lens.   Taken during the golden blue hour makes the sky blue. One is normal click point n shoot frame, the pano was taken hand held and is a three image blend to create the Panoramic.  Enjoy !!  I am thinking of making the Pano available on a Gallery wrap canvas print about 30 inches long by 10 inch mounted wood frame ready to hang, let me know if anyone wants one, costs plus shipping from my printer in the USA.


Russell Freeman on Google+!

Para Glider Day Tour Medellin Colombia

Hello this is Russell, let me tell you about this tour day on top of the mountain.

This is a day trip takes about 4 to 5 hours duration. Drive up the hill less than an hour, get you ready for a flight maybe have a snack and return.   We pick you up at your hotel or hostel in a air condition private car which can accommodate 3 to 4 people, more in your group we will bring the “van”.   Pick-up time is around 9:00 to 9:30 am, flight are all most everyday weather permitting.  Rain does not mean cancellation as on top of the mountain the weather at the other end of the valley could be sunshine !! That is Medellin.

Takes less than an hour drive, depends upon the traffic to reach the Para Glider Port.   Here you will be given briefing from a certified Para Glider instructor, all flight are “dual” meaning your attached to the instructor.   The total flight time is around 30 to 40 minutes gliding around.

We bring a “sack lunch” which is included,  always available are a few bottles of water or soda is ready in our cooler.  Nothing fancy, but there is no food on top of the hill, a sandwich with chips n fruit plus a granola bar is a welcome site while your up at the Glider Port.  All left over food is donated to the homeless on the  return trip off the mountain.

Safety is always a item, the Para Glider company uses only new modern equipment, it is a concern of ours too, they do not fly in bad weather, if the day turns, they will land or not be taking off due to thunderstorms which do happen.

Check out the video, if you wish to book a tour, we would be happy to take you on top of the hill for an afternoon.   Cost is per person, minimum of two with four being the max for a private auto.

 


Russell Freeman on Google+!

Colombian fishing village on the Caribbean

Hello this week my travels take me to a small fishing village off the beaten path, in fact “very” far off the normal road’s traveled in Colombia.  You have to want to travel to this small village to see it, not a tourist spot for the international traveler, but for some Colombians is a day at the beach.  This is a small resort town with very limited amenities with only one hotel worth mention other than the very cheap Colombian style places to stay, one maybe OK restaurant with tourist prices, one new Chicken fast food place open one month, with better food than the Hotel Restaurant in fact, the owner moved here from Cali two months ago to open this new venture, nice gal, not a local.

I have a lease on a small cottage within a block of the beach, maybe 100 meters, from the kitchen window you can hear the waves crash on the rocks, smell the ocean, complete with a nice ocean breeze and my own private beach complete with drift wood for an evening bbq fire on the beach !!   A bit off the beaten path for me, as the closest super-market of any “western” quality with normal things as I wish to call it, is well over an hour drive one way to go shopping.  This will be a planned trip to pack my little French import car of 1974 vintage with as much as I can for a weeks shopping in one gulp.  Can you say “plan in advance”, as the village has a few small shop’s but, no real market, not even a 7-11 circle K style place, does not exist.

The people in the village go about the daily life, fishing, many work on the cattle ranches, banana finca’s, mango orchard and growing coco for the chocolate lovers to continue to enjoy your favorite chocolate bar, it starts from here.

These photos are a one day glimpse of my visit, taken with a point n shoot, expect better professional photos in future posts, as I am going to take it easy for a few months in this place for now I shall call the “Village”.  You will need to see the end of the slideshow to see the little cottage kitchen and the driftwood beach a block away down a rocky road to beach access.


Russell Freeman on Google+!