We’d go out in Larry’s hippie van and drive out all around
Dallas. He loved Chinese food; he’d go in and say. Remember me Major Nelson, me and
my friends here are making this show called Dallas; have you got
a table for us? It would work every time.
The first recipe is what I call Thai-nese lettuce wraps that definitely satisfied my craving for a taste of PF Chang’s. I’ve made a copy cat version of PF’s a few times, but I must say that I enjoyed the satay version more with the hibachi grilled marinated chicken, must be that little char flavor and the Thai style dipping sauce that wins out over the PF Chang’s with me.
Of course I borrowed from several recipes and I’ll do my best to put it together here as I did not measure suggested ingredients for the two of us and feel free to add some of your favorite topping ingredients or flavors that you might recall from a dining out experience.
Most grocery stores carry the chicken tenders already sliced in thin strips so I guess you can use those, but I had bone-in chicken breasts to deal with and was able to slice them up into much thinner strips than the purchased. The sauce called for lemongrass and my local store doesn’t carry it any longer so instead of travelling 40+ miles round trip, I used the stuff in the tube and basically followed the amount conversion on the tube.
1 pound thin chicken strips I (you can use chicken breast or thigh strips)
1 head of Boston or Bibb lettuce, washed, separated, thoroughly dried, and chilled until ready to serve
A mix of red and yellow thinly sliced or rough chopped pepper strips
1 large carrot shredded on a box grater with large holes
Diced water chestnuts
Lots of green onions chopped tossed with cilantro (a good hand full) I love both so I have plenty ready.
(Marinate chicken about 1 hour and soak skewers in water for at least 1 hour)
Marinade – use stick blender or blender
(reserve some of the sauce to thin peanut sauce)
¼ cup minced lemon grass or 1 tablespoon of the tube lemon grass
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 shallots, minced
2 fat cloves of garlic, minced
Pinches of red pepper flakes or chili garlic sauce to taste
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced thin
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons cumin
3, tablespoons dark soy sauce
4 tablespoons or more Asian fish sauce
5 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoon light olive oil
¼ cup fresh lime juice
4 teaspoons fish sauce
4 teaspoon tamari or low sodium soy sauce
4 teaspoons canola oil
3 teaspoon raw sugar
2 teaspoons honey
2- 3 teaspoons Sake or water
5 fat cloves of garlic minced
1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons lemongrass
Have ready at 1 cup peanuts (I found that ½ was enough for my sauce, but served the remaining ½ cup at the table.
Blend all in a blender or use a stick blender thin with reserved marinade or water if necessary and of course use more peanuts for a thicker chunkier sauce.
Arrange lettuce cups and vegetables in a divided serving dish or on a large platter…
Grill the chicken over hot coals and serve along with vegetables and sauce.
Tunisian style Chicken Satay with Currants and Olives adapted from Susan Feniger’s Recipe
I found a container of fresh currants and immediately thought of this recipe that I had saved to try once day as the combination of sweet and tangy really appealed to me. The recipe calls for dry currants, but the addition of some fresh really perked things up.
- 2 medium red bell peppers
- 1 cup dried currants
- One 14-ounce jar sweet Peppadew or other sweet pickled red peppers, 1/2 cup of the juices from the jar reserved
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grilling
- Kosher salt
- 3 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut lengthwise into 1-inch-wide strips
- 3 pounds skinless boneless chicken breasts, lightly pounded and cut into 1-inch-wide, lengthwise strips
- Tunisian Relish
- Roast the bell peppers directly over a gas flame or under the broiler, turning, until charred all over. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool. Peel, seed and core the peppers.
- Meanwhile, soak the currants in 1/2 cup of hot water until plump, about 5 minutes. Drain and transfer the currants to a blender. Add the roasted peppers, Peppadews and their liquid and the 1 cup of olive oil and puree. Season the marinade lightly with salt.
- Thread the chicken breast and thigh strips separately onto 30 to 40 bamboo skewers and transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet. Pour half of the marinade over the chicken, turning to coat completely. Refrigerate for 4 hours. Refrigerate the remaining half of the marinade in a serving bowl.
Light a grill. Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting the excess drip off. Season the chicken with salt. Oil the grill grates and grill the chicken skewers over high heat, in batches if necessary and turning with tongs, until lightly charred and cooked through, about 8 minutes for the breasts and 10 minutes for the thighs. Serve the kebabs hot or at room temperature with the reserved marinade and the Tunisian Relish.
MAKE AHEAD The marinade can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.
Tunisian Relish for Kebabs
¼ cup fresh currants
3/4 cup dried currants
2 cups pitted green olives, chopped
1 cup sweet Peppadew peppers, chopped
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
In a bowl, soak the currants in hot water until plump, about 5 minutes. Drain, pressing out the excess water. Return the currants to the bowl and add the olives, Peppadews, olive oil and vinegar. Season the relish with salt. If the relish is too tart for you stir in a little honey.
MAKE AHEAD the relish can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.