It's official - spring has arrived. Although I wouldn't be packing away the woollies just yet, every day is drawing us nearer to sunshine and further away from the harsh winter we had to endure. I always feel that spring is well and truly here when I see the first daffodils peeping out through the soil. There is something genuinely amazing that these little bulbs, that appear fragile when planted, can hibernate in the ground only to reappear as a perfectly formed flower in the spring. Considering the amount of us that had to abide burst pipes, over the winter, it would make you think that nature is surely extraordinary.
The 3rd of February also sees the arrival of spring in the Chinese calender and more importantly it is the day they celebrate New Years Day. Chinese food has become an integral part of the way we cook in Ireland so to celebrate why not that the opportunity to try a delicious homemade Chinese dish. Chinese cuisine includes so many aromatic spices, varied textures and tempting sauces. Once upon a time one the only chance of an authentic Chinese dish was from the local takeaway however this has changed as specialised ingredients are now so easily accessible in most supermarkets.
This week's recipe ties in with the Chinese celebration-Chicken Skewers with a Spicy Satay Sauce-it is completely delicious as a main dish, a starter or even served as a canape, if you are entertaining guests. The chicken greatly benefits from marinating overnight however if you are caught short of time an hour or so would also be enough time for the chicken to avail of the wonderful flavours in the marinade. The Spicy Satay Sauce is far superior to any you could buy. Don't be deterred by the long list of ingredients as each one plays its part in making this a truly sensational sauce. I'm serving it as a dip for the skewers but it can also be used as a marinade for chicken-just add a little extra oil. This will easily keep in the fridge for a week.
Happy New Year and enjoy the celebrations.
Chicken Skewers with a Spicy Satay Sauce
1 small onion,finely chopped
2tbsp light soy sauce
wooden skewers, soaked for 30 mins in cold water
2 garlic clove, crushed
1tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp tabasco
4 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp runny honey
1 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1 lime
150mls coconut milk
1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.
2. Cover and let stand for 30 mins at room temp to allow flavours to blend.
3. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
This article was published in The Westmeath Independent on 2nd Feb 2011.