By PAUL SIDORIAK
I picked up a behemoth blender this summer and have been trying to use it in new and different ways other than just blending up boat drinks.
With 200 cable channels to choose from at my house, it seems that the channel I watch most often is the one that is still free: Montana Public Television. Recently, I caught a great episode of Steven Raichlen’s Barbeque University where he made a marinated Pork Satay with an Asian-inspired peanut sauce.
The marinade was incredibly simple to make because most of the ingredients go in the blender before you pour it over pork skewers. I used Raichlen’s recipe as a guide for my marinade with some minor modifications to suit my liking.
The raw pork marinated on the skewers for about two hours before they hit the grill, but I bet you could make them a day in advance without too much harm done if you are prepping for a party. Feeling like a fun guy, I put a few heaping tablespoons of the marinade on the concave part of a couple portabella mushrooms and allowed them to pick up the Asian flavors.
The pork skewers and mushrooms went on a 450-degree grill and cooked for about 6-8 minutes. As I turned the skewers to evenly cook the pork, they picked up a rich, caramel, charred color and I could smell the oils from the lemongrass releasing their citrusy aroma. When they were done, I dipped some crusty French bread in a mixture of butter, garlic, and paprika before it got grilled to make a rustic grilled crouton to accompany a salad.
I plated the skewers with steamed jasmine rice and cut the grilled portabella mushrooms into ribbons, fanning them out on top of the rice. The mushrooms and rice could have stood on their own as an entrée, but with the pork and peanut sauce, it all became like a laser light show of smells and flavors.
Here is my interpretation of Steven Raichlen’s recipe which you can easily find if you check out his website. If you try to make this dish, I encourage you to have fun and play with the ingredients like I did.
Unless you radically derail the flavor train, this is an easy and fun dish that everyone will love!
- 2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and coarsely chopped
- 1 lime zested, taking care to use the green, not the white
- 2 medium shallots, coarsely chopped
- 5 TBS garlic, coarsely chopped or minced
- 1 Serrano pepper, or another hot chili, seeded and roughly chopped
- 3 TBS Sriracha hot chili paste
- 3 TBS sugar
- 1/4 cup each Asian fish sauce and lite soy sauce
- Juice of one fresh lime
- 1/4 cup Italian salad dressing
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds pork loin or tenderloin
Put all ingredients except for the pork into a blender, and blend until smooth with small bits.
Cut pork into strips 4-5” long with a width the size of a die from a Yahtzee game.
Skewer the pork and slather on the marinade. Let it soak for a minimum of an hour, grill, and enjoy!
Check out Paul’s other tasty summer grilling recipes, Chinook Salmon with Grilled Rice, Hasselback Grilled Potatoes, and Cheese-Stuffed Burgers and Curly Hot Dogs, and stay tuned for more delicious grilling recipes all summer long!
Paul moved to Montana in 1996 with about a dozen friends from Lyndon State College in Vermont. He is still reluctantly paying his student loans and has carved out a career working as a supplier representative for various food and beverage products.
Paul enjoys grilling after a day on the water or an afternoon in the garden, where he has been known to grow heirloom tomatoes and peppers out of spite. Often cooking for extended family and friends, he takes a whimsical approach to cooking simple, seasonal dishes, while not taking it too seriously.
You can read more of Paul’s grilling recipes at his blog site, Montana Mise en Place.