As it happens, we often eat from trays in front of the TV (although we don't actually watch many TV programmes). Just because we do this doesn't mean we eat rubbishy pre-prepared food. Anyone who has followed my blog for a while will know this... And properly-done home-made Satay & Gado-Gado is not your average TV dinner. It's 100 times nicer than a Take-Away pizza!
Although this is a fairly complicated meal, much of the preparation can be done well in advance.
The meal consists of several different elements:-
1. The Chicken Satay - no magic here, just some chicken cut into small strips and marinated to suit your tastes. Jane uses a mixture of grated Kemiri nuts (often sold as "Candlenuts" in Chinese shops), Ketcap Manis (Sweet Soy sauce), and some ground coriander seed. After marinating for a couple of hours the meat is threaded onto bamboo skewers and cooked under the grill. Soak the bamboo skewers in water for a while in order to stop them burning. [NB: if you can't get Kemeri nuts, you could use Macadamias, or even Brazils.]
|The chicken satay|
2. Rice. I won't insult your intelligence by explaining how to cook this. The only thing I will say is - use the best quality (I reckon that means Basmati), don't use cheap stuff.
3. Gado-Gado, an Indonesian vegetable salad with a peanut sauce. We use a mixture of lightly cooked carrots, green beans and beansprouts, with raw cucumber and watercress, along with sliced boiled egg and some roasted cashew nuts. The dish is dressed with a thick peanut sauce, which is also used for dipping the satay. The sauce is made with peanut butter, soy sauce and water, gently heated, with the addition of some Sambal Oelek or chilli if you like this, and maybe some coconut milk and lime juice - it depends how much trouble you want to go to! (Full recipe some other time!) [Jane's advice here is - when making the sauce, it always curdles initially, but don't panic, just keep stirring and it will come back together.]
4. Prawn crackers. You can easily buy these "raw" in most supermarkets and they only require a few seconds' deep-frying to produce a lovely crispy (and authentically Indonesian) garnish. They are great for dipping up any surplus peanut sauce.
|Prawn crackers in the background, peanut sauce at left|
You can't fail to enjoy this combination - it's certainly worth trying - and of course, if you don't want to use chicken for the satay you can use pork, beef or lamb instead. (Sorry, Vegetarians, but this one is definitely not for you!)