Satays and skewers are great for spring and summer entertaining as well as a weeknight option. Why? Not only are they out of the ordinary, but the relatively small pieces of meat or fish cook quickly. If you want to try this recipe but don't have wooden skewers, you could simply fry the pieces of meat in a lightly oiled skillet or grill pan, turning the meat often so it cooks evenly.
Singapore Pork Satays
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 stalk lemon grass, thinly sliced
5 small shallots, minced
1/2 cup peanut oil
2 pounds boneless pork loin, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
20 wooden skewers
In a spice mill or mortar, grind the coriander seeds. Transfer to a small bowl. Add the turmeric, salt and sugar and combine. Set aside.
In a spice mill or blender, process the lemon grass and shallots until a paste is formed, adding water if necessary. Add the paste and oil to the spice blend and stir to combine. Add the pork and turn to coat. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes. (May cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.) Place the wooden skewers in a shallow pan of water. Set aside for 30 minutes.
Preheat the grill or broiler.
Thread three cubes of pork on each skewer, being careful not to crowd the pieces. Grill or broil the pork until browned on each side and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve immediately. Makes four servings.
Nutritional information per serving: 346 calories, 55 grams protein, 8 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams fat, 134 mg cholesterol, 3 grams saturated fat, 554 mg sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber.
Cook's note: Lemon grass can be found in many Asian markets.
-- Recipe from "Sticks & Skewers" by Elsa Petersen-Schepelern (Time-Life Books, $15.95).