After the Spaghetti and Meatball factory closed, it was nephew, and Dennis’s godson, Billy Lynch’s turn to spend the day in Ktina’s Kitchen. As a sophomore in college on break, I thought getting him to commit to a day might be a challenge, but he enthusiastically committed to the Sunday following Joe’s day as a chef. Like his brother, I had an idea of what his favorite meal that I cook is, so it was no surprise when his response to what he would like to cook was Thai Peanut Noodles and Asian Pork.
The first order of business was to make the marinade so we could get the pork marinating. Since a lot of the ingredients in the peanut sauce are also in the marinade, we got going chopping lots of fresh ginger and peeling the cloves from 2 heads of garlic. Thankfully the Cuisinart mini-prep took care of all the chopping, and then it was all about measuring and pouring ingredients into the blender and Voila, marinade done. We made a double batch so Billy had some to take home to share with the rest of the Lynch clan and to try with a different protein another time. Once the pork was covered and in the refrigerator soaking up the flavors, it was time to make the peanut sauce. Just as the blender took care of most of the work on the marinade, the food processor did the heavy lifting for the sauce. With the garlic and ginger already prepped, it was measure, pour, whiz and the sauce was done. Now all we had to do was to slice the garnishes for the peanut noodles and we were good to go.
Since the peanut sauce is the basis for Chicken Satay, we pulled a chicken breast out of the freezer and thawed it for an appetizer. In keeping with #trysomethingnew, I also pulled out some Tom Yum Goong broth that I had in the freezer. While Billy has never been a seafood fan, he agreed to try the soup, which is “Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup”. He loves spicy food, and the Tom Yum Goong is very spicy since it includes Thai Red Curry Paste, and fish sauce and lime juice add salty, sour flavors. It turns out 19 is a lot different than 9 and he not only tried the soup, he liked it!
Now it was time for the main event , . . once the pork was on the grill, we poured the marinade into a sauce pan and brought to it a boil to kill off any bacteria and allowed it to reduce to make a syrupy sauce. We assembled the peanut noodles and it was time to eat. Everything was delicious and Billy devoured tons of pork (we cooked 2 and there was not a speck leftover). I guess it really is his favorite meal! We had a great time and the best compliment was that Billy said he wanted to come back to cook again before he returned to school later in the month.
ASIAN MARINADE & SAUCE
- 1 jar 8-10 ounces Hoisin Sauce
- ½ Cup Orange Juice pref fresh
- ¼ Cup chopped Ginger about 4” piece
- 3 cloves of Garlic
- ½ Cup Soy Sauce or Tamari for gluten free
- ¼ Cup Rice Wine Vinegar
- ¼ Cup Sesame Oil
- ½ Cup packed Brown Sugar
- ¼ Cup Honey
- ½ bunch Cilantro rinsed (leaves & stems)
- 1 fresh Fresno pepper or long Thai Chili or a Jalapeno seeded
- ½ tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
- 1-2 tsp Hot Chili Oil to taste, optional
- Place all ingredients except chili oil in a Vitamix, blender or food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until smooth.
- Taste and add 1-2 tsp chili oil if you prefer a bit more spice.
- BARBECUE SAUCE:
- Pour 1 ½ cups of the marinade into a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
- This marinade works well with just about any protein: Chicken, Pork, Beef, Duck, Shrimp or firm Fish such as Halibut, Tuna or Swordfish.
- Pour sauce over until well covered and refrigerate several hours or overnight. I find a Ziploc bag works well to allow even distribution of the marinade.
- While grilling the meat, pour the additional marinade into a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Boil for about 5 minutes, which will kill any bacteria from the raw meat, and reduce heat to medium and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes and use as a sauce for your grilled meat.
- Shrimp or Fish – Pour sauce over and marinate for 15-30 minutes before grilling or pan searing. Do not marinate longer than 30 minutes as the acids will begin to “cook” the fish.
- THAI PEANUT NOODLES and THAI WATERMELON SALAD make a delicious meal.
- MANGO SALSA make a tasty accompaniment to any protein except beef.
- I often make a double batch of the sauce to share, and it keeps for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator