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Saturday, January 28, 2006

IMBB 22 : I Used My Noodle and Made Chicken Sate with Linguine

My current reduction in the frequency of blog entries is getting on my own nerves. Since Thanksgiving, I've posted once a week at most. Around the holidays it was due to lack of time but that is no longer the case.

Is it writer's block? No... in fact, I've begun a number of posts that are waiting in the wings to be completed.

Is it a lack of interest in food? Not really. I'm trying lots of new foods with my New Year's resolution to get healthier (let's not call it a diet, the word scares me) and while not all of the foods I've tried have been anything to write about, some are noteworthy and I intend to talk about them soon.

I believe my trouble is cabin fever. Years in Wisconsin taught me that winter was to be enjoyed among the snowbanks and while I was never much of a snow-bunny myself, I couldn't help but go out in it and sometimes it was even fun. In Wisconsin, cabin fever typically sets in when it's nearing spring and things are beginning to warm up and I'd get the itch to plan a garden (or more likely window boxes) and with a clean white slate to dream on, late winter held the perfect opportunity. Now that I'm in Maryland and we don't get 15 feet of snow, I haven't had the opportunity to be outside for any length of time, even for snow shovelling. The garden is calling to me but even though temperatures are in the lovely 50's (perfect for garden clean-up!) it's still too early to poke around too much since plants need the leaf mulch to protect them from still-present biting night winds.

Thankfully, I have IMBB to help get me rolling back into blogdom. Cooking With Amy set me on a course to talk about how I like my pasta and while, in this dish the pasta is simply a vehicle for the wonderful sauce, the type of pasta, Linguine, is the perfect shape to carry all of the wonderful sauce to my eager palate.

Sate' (pronounced sah-TAY) is a spicy sauce typically made with peanut butter. It's easy to find chicken sate' in the frozen foods section of the grocery but making it yourself is so easy (the most difficult thing about it is cooking the pasta) and infinitely more tasty than those packaged foods.

My favorite version of this sauce has lots of garlic and a little kick from red pepper sauce. Some recipes call for other ingredients like fresh ginger or a citrus juice of one variety or another so this time around I marinated my chicken in a mojito sauce that contained mango, lime and orange flavors just to see how I liked it. The flavors married well but if it's simplicity you're after, then just skip it! When I'm in a really lazy mood I skip the chicken entirely.

Peanut Sate' Sauce
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup hot water
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon red pepper sauce (like Tabasco)
1 teaspoon honey

Place the garlic and peanut butter in a small bowl. Pour the hot water over both and whisk gently until peanut butter is very smooth. Add remaining ingredients and let stand while the pasta cooks.

Linguine is the perfect shape pasta to showcase this beautiful sauce. After cooking, drain the linguine well but do not rinse so that the residual starch helps hold the sauce.

My recipe calls for 1/2 pound of linguine but I find a little of the sauce goes quite a long way and could easily dress 1 1/2 pounds of cooked lingiune. The sauce keeps well for a few days in the fridge so make the full recipe and have it available for the next sate' craving you're bound to have. Just be sure to stir the sauce well before adding to the next delicious bowl of linguine.

Recalling the frozen selections of Chicken Sate': they often contain a few vegetables which you could also add if you were in the mood. Fresh peas, peapods, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts or carrots are good choices.

I chose a green salad with Asiago cheese, toasted pine nuts, balsamic green beans and a splash of Goddess dressing as a go-with.



Karan said...

Yum! I'm going to try this!

Mona said...

Mmmmm I love peanut butter-based sauces. That looks awesome. Can't wait to try it!!

boo_licious said...

Great idea Grommie. I think I can whip this up fairly easily by buying ready made satay, toss the linguine with peanut sauce and shredded cucumber. Thanks for the inspiration.