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In many parts of the world, the peanut is serious food.

In many parts of the world, the peanut is serious food The poor peanut has some awfully undignified connotations--ball games, elephants, insubstantial emoluments. But this humble legume is serious food, with high protein and fat contents (30 and 47 percent, respectively). In Earle Presten's Satay Sauce, it is taken as seriously as it deserves to be--and its flavor triumphs, despite a host of additional ingredients including such heavy hitters as garlic, ginger, jalapeno chilies, oyster sauce, soy sauce, and taco sauce.

Mr. Presten concocted his sauce for satay (or sate), a dish Indonesian in origin but sometimes found on Chinese and Indian menus, too. Simply put, satay consists of bite-size morsels of meat soaked in a spicy sauce, then grilled (or broiled) on a skewer and served with more sauce. Or you can grill the meat by itself, then add the sauce. A similar sauce also dresses cooked vegetables in an Indonesian dish known as gado gdo--and you can certainly use Mr. Presten's that way, too.

Satay Sauce

1 tablespoon salad oil 1/2 cup raw peanuts 1 small onion, chopped 2 small fresh jalapeno chilies, stemmed and seeded 1 piece fresh ginger (about a 1-in. cube), thinly sliced 4 cloves garlic, quartered 1/4 cup peanut butter 1/2 cup canned coconut cream (or 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup whipping cream) 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 tablespoon oyster sauce (optional) 1 tablespoon lime juice 1/4 cup each dry sherry and orange juice 3 tablespoons prepared taco sauce Grilled beef, chicken, or pork

Pour oil into an 8- to 10-inch frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add peanuts and onion and stir often until golden. Pour peanuts, onion, and oil into a blender; whirl to form a coarse paste. Add the chilies, ginger, garlic, peanut butter, coconut cream, soy sauce, oyster sauce, lime juice, sherry, orange juice, and taco sauce; whirl until mixture is smoothly blended. If made ahead, cover and chill up to 1 week.

Pour sauce into a 1- to 1-1/2-quart pan. Stir over medium heat until hot, about 10 minutes. Spoon onto (or serve as a dip for) grilled beef, chicken, or pork. Makes about 2-1/3 cups.

Per tablespoon: 42 cal.; 1.3 g protein; 3.4 g fat; 2 g carbo.; 55 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.
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Title Annotation:Chefs of the West; recipes
Date:Aug 1, 1990
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