During recipe testing, there was an unanimous “MMMMM!!!” along with what may have been a little happy-dance from yours truly. This is hands-down, the very best Beef Satay I’ve ever had. And it’s from a Belizean cookbook called, Flavors of Belize.
I actually had to look up exactly where Belize was located when I started reading this book. It’s “Central America’s Gateway to the Caribbean” hugged by Southern Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, on the Caribbean side. When I first opened up the book and saw recipes from Southeast Asia, China and even Hawaiian flavors, I was intrigued. Of course, if I had read the subtitle of the book, “Ancient History, Diverse Culture, Exotic Cuisine” it would have made sense!
It also turned out that my friends Adam Pearson and Matt Armendariz styled and photographed the book. Needless to say, the book is gorgeous, though I would have loved to see more photos of Belize, its people and markets. I’ve got 2 videos to share with you – one is a book tour and the other is the how-to on the recipe.
As a side note, I remember when I was little, probably around 10 years old, my Uncle Billy told me he was going to be vacationing in Belize. That struck me as incredibly exotic and so glamorous. “When I grow up, one day I’m going to be glamorous and vacation in Belize too!” Well, I haven’t made it there yet, but perhaps one day. The closest I’ve gotten is Cancun, but somehow the 5 hours or so drive between them seems like a world of difference. In my mind, at least.
About the Book Tour: While I am a devoted customer of Amazon.com, the shopping experience just isn’t quite as fulfilling when browsing for books. I love thumbing through the pages of a cookbook, stopping at a random page to see what I’d find. If at least 75% of the time, my thumb stops at an interesting recipe, photo or snippet of text, then it’s a win. So I thought I’d start giving some informal Book Tours of cookbooks that I have, majority of them sent from publishers for review.
I’ll give you a few quick thumb stops of the book – I hope you enjoy!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Recipe adapted from Flavors of Belize Cookbook.
FOR THE BEEF SATAY
1. For marinade, mash together the onion, garlic, ginger and sugar using mortar & pestle or food processor. Or - if you have chopped your ginger, garlic and onion fine enough, no need to do anything further. Add this mixture into a resealable bag. To the same bag, add in the red chili paste, cilantro, soy sauce, sesame oil and lime juice. Massage to mix well. Add in the beef strips. Marinate 1-2 hours or up to overnight. In the meantime, prepare the Habanero Peanut Sauce.
2. When ready to cook, heat grill to high, direct heat. Thread beef onto bamboo skewers.
3. Grill for 3-4 minutes on each side while continuously basting with marinade. Serve with habanero peanut sauce (below).
FOR THE HABANERO PEANUT SAUCE
Whisk together all ingredients until smooth. If the sauce is too thick, whisk in an additional tablespoon of hot water.