Eight ingredients, plus pantry staples. That's all it takes to make an entire meal from scratch. Add in a good bottle of wine for less than $20, and you've got a feast for family or friends. That's the philosophy behind our "8 & $20" feature. We hope it adds pleasure to your table.
Now that warmer weather is here—along with all the picnics and barbecues that come with it—it's time for a recipe that works indoors and out. These pork satay skewers can be prepped ahead of time for a quick finish on the barbecue pit, but cooked in the kitchen—I make them in the broiler—they travel well for any occasion, as does the accompanying chickpea and kale salad.
This recipe offers plenty of opportunity for advance prep. You can marinate the pork for the satay up to a day ahead. The skewers make them really easy to handle and portion. I even like them at room temperature if you’re going out to a picnic and want to cook them ahead of time.
To keep it simple, I used a store-bought sauce here—there are many quality satay and peanut sauces now available. But if you have a favorite recipe, by all means go ahead and use it!
Chickpeas and kale make about as durable a salad as you can find. I love this combination when I need a salad that I know isn’t going to wilt and go limp. You can make it in advance–I actually think it tastes better after marinating in the dressing overnight. It’s also hardy enough to set out on a picnic or buffet table for a few hours without concern. You can easily adapt the flavor profile to your meal as well. Here I tossed the salad in a ginger-soy dressing to complement the pork satay. If you want to add on from here, shredded carrots, sesame seeds and nuts all make great additions.
We decided to try an Oregon Pinot Gris and a German Riesling with this combo. The Pinot Gris was light and crisp, but with an open texture; the flavors were on point with the food on the plate, and it enhanced the nuttiness of the satay, but it suffered a little next to the sweetness in the peanut sauce, turning a touch bitter.
The off-dry Riesling worked much better with the lightly sweet dish. It was refreshing with citrus and stone fruit notes, as well as hints of ginger spice and herbs. It helped to coax out the ginger in the dish and made for an overall more balanced pairing.
Pair with an off-dry Riesling like Spreitzer Riesling QbA Rheingau 101 2014 (87 points, $20).
Prep time: 25 minutes, plus 30 minutes to overnight marinating time
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Total time: 65 minutes, plus 30 minutes to overnight marinating time
Approximate food costs: $20
1. For the marinade, mix half the ginger and lime zest, 1/3 cup of soy sauce, 3 tablespoons of peanut oil, 1 teaspoon of the satay sauce, and a generous pinch of pepper in a large bowl. Set aside.
2. Use a meat mallet to pound the pork pieces thin. Soak the pork in the marinade for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight. (Refrigerate if marinating for more than hour, but allow the meat to come back to room temperature before cooking.)
3. Make the salad dressing while the pork marinates. Mix together the remaining ginger, lime zest and the lime juice, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, the 1/2 cup of oil, 3 tablespoons rice vinegar, a pinch of salt and an optional teaspoon of sugar. Whisk together until the mixture emulsifies. Taste and adjust seasoning. (Adjust the dressing to your personal taste: If it's too tart, add a little more oil; add more lime juice or vinegar if more acidity is preferred.) Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, massage the kale leaves until they turn a dark green. Add the chickpeas and toss together to combine. Gradually add the dressing until the salad is lightly coated. Adjust seasoning and set aside, along with extra dressing.
5. Set the oven to broil. Thread the pork strips onto the skewers, making sure to leave space at the ends to handle the skewers. Distribute on a lightly greased cooking sheet and place under the broiler. Cook for about 3 minutes per side, or until cooked through and lightly browned—the thinner the strips, the faster they will cook. Skewers can also be cooked on the grill over medium-high heat following the same method.
6. While the pork is cooking, warm up the satay sauce in the microwave or on the stovetop, if desired. Once the pork is completely cooked, serve the skewers with the satay sauce for dipping and the chickpea and kale salad with extra dressing on the side. Makes approximately 16 skewers, or 4 to 5 servings.