A summer trip took me near a Penzey’s Spices retail outlet, which turned out to be way more fun than buying spices from their catalog or website. It’s nice to smell, see, and handle spices, especially Penzey’s blended mixes. I’m not the biggest fan of blends, as the Penzey’s palate tends to be a bit more restrained and Midwestern than my own. I did end up buying their Sate, Jerk, and Tandoori seasoning blends, intending to use them on grilled meats (for quick, weeknight suppers). So much for intentions: I went home, promptly put them away and forgot about the whole thing.
Happily, I unearthed the spice blends recently while reorganizing and decided to put the Sate seasoning to use on chicken. In a fit of New-Year’s-inspired health consciousness, I sprinkled 3 heaping teaspoons dry Sate spice mix directly onto pounded, boneless, skinless breasts (look, Ma, no oil!) and rested the rubbed poultry for 30 minutes at room temperature. A quick sear at 450 degrees over hardwood lump charcoal on my Big Green Egg Mini yielded succulent grilled chicken; the dry rub seemed to prevent it from sticking, despite the oil-free coating.
Sliced across the grain, I tucked it inside lettuce leaves, garnished with chile-lime spiked carrots, cucumber, and cilantro, plus a bit of (bottled) peanut sauce on the side for dipping. (More a Vietnamese presentation than a typical Indonesian one.) It was a delicious, nearly fat- and carb-free meal (what I was craving, after a month’s indulgence in pralines, fudge, smoked salmon, cheeses, olives, and anything else I was offered).