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Even though I love to cook, and the vast majority of my home cooking is done from scratch, doesn’t mean I’m not a lazy cook. Particularly during the week, when I get home from work and can be tired and irritable, anything which shaves seconds off getting my tea on the table is welcome.
Squeezy herbs are one such short cut.
I was already a user of some squeezy herbs – y’know, the ready chopped /mushed tubes of herbs- when the lovely people at Gourmet Garden sent me a set of their squeezies to try for myself.
January has been about two polar opposites in food for me. It’s either cocooning comfort food, or the bright, zingy flavours of Thai food. I don’t know why, but the combo of lemongrass, ginger, garlic and lime really lifts me on a grim night at the moment. I’ve been experimenting with some Vietnamese food too –chicken from the January edition of Delicious magazine packs a taste punch and shares some flavours with Thai.
My quick and easy take on satay sauce is probably not terribly authentic but this smooth version should appeal to kids, as a peanutty dipping sauce, and adults alike.
Quick and Easy Satay Sauce
- 100g peanuts (salted are fine)
- 1 x tin coconut milk- poured into a jug and given a good stir if separated
- 2 x shallots or one onion
- 2 tsp Gourmet Garden garlic
- 2tsp Gourmet Garden ginger
- 3 tsp Gourmet Garden lemongrass
- Splash Thai fish sauce
- 1 tbsp Soy sauce
- Squeeze Lime
- Peanut or vegetable oil
What you do
- In a food processor, whizz the nuts until very finely ground and remove.
- Chop the shallots very finely, or pop them in the food processor and whizz them until almost a paste
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large frying pan, add the shallots and turn the heat down so they don’t burn
- Cook shallots for 2-3 mins then add garlic, ginger and lemongrass and cook for a further minute
- Add peanuts to the pan and mix everything well
- Add the coconut milk slowly until you get the desired thickness. Remember it will thicken up slightly as it heats. You may use the whole tin, you may only use half, it is all personal taste – I used 250ml for a pouring sauce
- Add soy sauce and a squeeze of lime and taste. If your nuts were salted it may be tasting dandy right now. If not, add a dash – and only a dash- of fish sauce. A little goes a long way but it gives it that special oomph
- Cook through for about 3-5 minutes and serve
I serve this with poached chicken strips (poaching in weak chicken stock makes them lovely and tender) and noodles.
If you want to spice it up a bit you can add some red chilli, finely sliced, or chilli flakes. It’s much lighter than shop bought satay – it looks a bit like porridge- but none the less tasty for it.
I almost always use squeezy lemongrass because it is hard to get hold of where I live and when I can, it is always woody and unpleasant. But I’ve found the whole range from Gourmet Garden to be particularly useful at this time of year when I have nothing growing in my own garden and no inclination to try and grow anything!
- Garlic, ginger and chilli as a rub for pork
- Basil and garlic in bolognaise
- Garlic on fried potato slices (which are as close as I come to making chips at home!)
- Coriander in smooth guacamole
- Basil on toasties
The list goes on!
Thanks to GG for sending me these products to try.