So I do the chef thing for a large grocery chain in Canada two or three times a month. They have professional kitchens and I get to stand in front of a crowd, (usually the same crowd), and teach them how to make different and unique recipes to break the mundane traditions that some fall back on for dinner. It gives me and them a chance try different techniques and foods from around the world. And I get paid for it too boot!
The recipes are supplied a week or so in advance so I can try them out before presentation day. It’s an hour to prep and an hour in front of the crowd. I create a complimentary recipe on the side of the head office one so if it’s pasta I create a salad, soup I devise a bruschetta, if it’s meat I come in hand with a potato or veg. You get the picture.
So last week I was supplied with a recipe for a peanut turkey satay. My accompaniment was a mango and celery root slaw. It seemed keeping with the theme of the main. Or so I thought.
Practiced, prepped and ready to go, two hours before the event I received an email to tell me they had sent me the wrong recipe. The peanut turkey satay had suddenly turned into Lentil Soup? But they thought my slaw would go well with it? Really?
So here I was with my chef jacket in hand going out to present something I had never made before in front of a group of paying customers. Needless to say, watch for me on the next episode of Dancing with the Stars. I learned very quickly how to do the Quick Step!
It’s funny that life throws left-handers at you when you’re expecting a right-hander at the mound. But you can’t sit out the inning, you half to take your turn at bat, so grilled turkey turned into soup.
Since I didn’t get to present it there, Ladies and Gentlemen,I present to you
Grilled Turkey Satay with Mango and Celery
Skinless Turkey Breast, about 500 g
1 green onion, roughly chopped
1/3 cup (75 mL) Smooth Peanut Butter
1/3 cup (75 mL) lightly packed fresh coriander
2 tbsp (25 mL) fresh lime juice
1-1⁄2 tbsp (22 mL) Thai fish sauce
1 tbsp (15 mL) packed brown sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) chili paste
1 tsp (5 mL) soy sauce
- Soak 20 8-inch (20 cm) bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes; drain.
- Cut turkey breast into 20 long thin strips. Thread one turkey strip onto each skewer, leaving 1-inch (2.5 cm) skewer bare at bottom.
- In food processor, combine green onion, peanut butter, coriander, lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, chili paste, soy sauce and 1/2 cup (125 mL) water. Pulse for 10 to 15 seconds or until sauce is smooth. Divide sauce between two small bowls. Brush one bowl of sauce liberally over turkey skewers; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat barbecue or indoor grill to medium-high heat. Remove turkey skewers from refrigerator; spray each side with cooking spray. Place on grill. Put a strip of foil under bare part of skewers. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes, turning occasionally, or until cooked through and nicely charred, being careful not to burn. Transfer to platter; let stand 1 minute. Serve with remaining bowl of peanut sauce.
Celery Root, Mango, Red Pepper and Fennel Salad (serves 10; approx)
2 celery roots
2 fennel bulbs
1 Red Pepper
1/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar
1tsp sesame oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Red pepper flakes to taste if you want a little heat
Salt and pepper to taste
- Peel and chop fennel, celery root, red pepper and mango to similar size “match sticks”
- Combine everything except the mango in your serving bowl.
- Mix rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, sesame oil, lemon juice, red pepper flake and salt and pepper
- Toss to coat fennel, celery root, and red pepper with the dressing. Cover, refrigerate and let sit for 20 minutes.
- Add mango.
- Toss and Serve.
Oh and if you’re wondering, the Lentil Soup went well too.
If you have to dance, do it as if no one is watching!
Be well and eat well.