Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Thai menu, Zucchini Pizza!

I seem to be caught in a viscous zucchini-cycle. Last Wednesday afternoon I picked all that were over 4” long and while we were at the lake house I managed to use most of those. Then the day we returned, Saturday, three days later, there were several more waiting. Not little ones, either. They are all at least 10” long.

Sunday night's pizza was topped with (you guessed it!):

I grilled a chicken breast and zucchini slices, then grilled one side of the pizza crust. The crust was flipped over, brushed with rosemary/garlic oil, and topped with lowfat mozzarella, grilled zucchini, pepperocini peppers, fresh tomatoes, grilled chicken, and Parmegiano-Reggiano. Delicious, but there are still a lot more to use up!

Okay, my last 2 posts consisted of entertaining recipes and this one will finish those used when my friends Jenni, Nancy, & Meridee came to visit me at the lake house and cook wonderful things.

Here we are, preparing Friday dinner (which was reviewed in my last post):

For dinner on Saturday, I planned a Thai menu.

The main course was Chicken Satay. I prepared the marinade for the chicken two days earlier and this was very quick to put together for dinner. Absolutely delicious, too!

Chicken Satay

serves 3-4


for the Marinade:
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 stalk lemongrass (hard outer leaves and green top removed), minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted in a small dry skillet until fragrant, and then ground
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted in a small dry skillet until fragrant, and then ground

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (for pork only)
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons pineapple juice
2 tablespoons unsalted dry-roasted peanuts, finely chopped

for the Satay:

1 pound boneless chicken breasts

18 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes and dried
Vegetable oil spray


Make the marinade: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well (if working ahead, leave out the peanuts until ready to use). Seal and refrigerate. The marinade will keep for a couple of days.

Grill the skewers: Generously spray the meat with vegetable oil and put the skewers on the medium-hot grill, arranging several skewers close to one another. Flip and turn frequently until the surface is slightly charred and the meat feels firm when pressed with tongs. Grill as follows

(times are approximate): chicken breast (charcoal, 2 minutes; gas, 4 minutes) Transfer to a platter and serve hot.

from Fine Cooking #52, pp. 56-60

The pineapple dipping sauce was prepared a couple of hours ahead and allowed to sit at room temperature. It provided a nice, sweet, spicy note to the satay.

Pineapple Dipping Sauce

makes about 1-1/2 cups, serves 4-6


1 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple or 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple with juice
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Juice of 1 lime (to yield a scant 1/4 cup)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 fresh bird or serrano chiles, cored, seeded, and minced
1 shallot, slivered


In a serving bowl, combine all the ingredients. Let sit for at least 15 minutes before serving.

from Fine Cooking #52

This is a great recipe. I’ve developed it over the years and have some friends who request it often. This Thai Peanut Sauce was originally made as a dip for veggies but, if using it as a dipping sauce, add a little additional water or some chicken broth to make it a thinner (more “dip-able” consistency).

* Exported from MasterCook *

Thai Peanut Sauce

Recipe By : Vicci

Serving Size : 6 (barely!)

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

-------- ------------ --------------------------------

2 tablespoons peanut butter

5 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise

1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 large garlic cloves -- chopped

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes

1 tablespoon fresh chives -- sliced (or sliced green onion tops)

Place all ingredients except chives in small food processor and process until smooth. If too thick, a little more water.

Spoon into small bowl, garnish with chives or green onion tops.


"3/4 cup"

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per serving: 44 Calories (kcal); 2g Total Fat; (47% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 5g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 251mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 3 1/2 Fat; 0ther Carbohydrates

Serving Ideas : Serve with fresh vegetables such as summer squash, carrots, cherry tomatoes,
red pepper strips, cucumber slices, etc.

NOTES : This can be also made without the food processor, using a wisk to mix the ingredients. In that case, mince the garlic cloves finely.

Can be made a few days ahead.

If using as a dipping sauce for satay, think a bit further with water or chicken broth.

We also had Thai Cucumber Salad, and here is a link to it on the RecipeZaar website. I developed and posted this salad recipe a few years ago and it has always been well-received.

And this was dessert. Entirely appropriate and so yummy. I especially liked the banana, but the mango and pineapple was great too. We had excess sauce and ended up drizzling it over the coconut rum brownies (which I will post the recipe for soon). Really, can you ever have too much coconut???

I made the sauce a day ahead and set it out to come to room temperature while we prepared dinner. What surprised me was that I used light coconut milk and it worked out just as well as I believe the regular coconut milk would have (but without all of that nasty saturated fat that normally just oozes from coconut!). I did add ¼ teaspoon coconut extract to boost the flavor, though.

As I mentioned, the recipe made a lot of sauce. In addition to what we used it with that evening, I had some to use as an ice cream topping for the next few days.

And I have to add that, since you’ll be using the creamy coconut milk that rises to the top of the can, place it on your counter and allow it to sit undisturbed for a couple of hours then open very carefully as not to disturb the “layers”.

Grilled Fruit with Coconut Sauce

makes about 1 cup of sauce, serves 4-6

For the sauce:

1 can (13-1/2 ounces) coconut milk

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the grilled fruit

2 large firm but ripe bananas, peeled and halved lengthwise
2 large ripe mangos, peeled and sliced
1 small ripe pineapple


Gently open the coconut milk and transfer the creamy top half into a measuring cup; you should have 1 cup. If you don’t, add enough of the clear juice from the bottom of the can to equal 1 cup. (Discard the remaining juice or save it for another use.) In a small saucepan, combine the coconut cream, sugar, and salt. Heat over low to medium until the sugar and salt dissolve; don’t let it boil or the coconut cream will curdle. Simmer to thicken, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Chill the sauce (it will thicken further as it cools) and let it come to room temperature before serving.

Grill the fruit

Heat a grill to medium. Peel and core the pineapple; slice it into rings or cut it into chunks and thread the chunks onto skewers. Grill the fruit just enough to soften it, about 2 minutes per side. Drizzle with the coconut sauce and serve.

from Fine Cooking #52

Sorry, only one photo of this meal—we were too busy eating! :)