Two years ago, today, was the day Lisa invited - or better, enthusiastically encouraged - me to join her in a new venture called Melting Pot Tours.
Very shortly before all that happened though, I had been having an idyllic time in France and Italy for an extended duration. One day while in the French Alps, at an internet point (where no one spoke English so my broken Italian actually came in handy), I managed to check my email successfully. There was a message from Kitchen Aid inviting me to be one of their four US regional "Advanced Team" chefs. Was I interested?
Oh OK, I wrote back. There would be training in Atlanta the end of June. Fine. I signed up, not woo-hoo'ing too terribly loudly since one of the blessings of being in the French Alps, then Italy, was that it really is easy to stay present and only focus on the current moment.
Long story short, the Kitchen Aid thing from start to finish kind of ended up to be the equivalent of a bust but, I did get called for one event in El Paso, Texas, that August. Did I want to be in El Paso that summer? Not so much. But, there was the chance that El Paso was likely to have some really fabulous local food and they did: Sam's BBQ - no website to refer to, still have their menu.
Now mind you, with this job came all kinds of free Kitchen Aid stuff/goodies, but not the stand or hand mixer in case you're wondering. I schlepped all of this fine equipment with me in a second clunky suitcase, to El Paso. Then came to learn that all of the stuff was available at the customer site and the schlep was all just for fun. Fine.
The job really just equalled a lot of intensive labor for not much pay but, I did get to meet and work with wonderful people. A Ventanas magazine article mentioned Amy, Viking's resident chef and me, so that was nice. Amy and I did our respective magic in what looked like opposing corners at this kitchen showplace grand opening. When I was asked if this was supposed to be like Iron Chef, I answered the repeated, unnerving question with a smile to say, "There's no competition. Amy's a much better chef than me."
One of the foods that I prepared, was a KA recipe for Satay. I cut a deal with my agency, that I would make it if I could use Penzey's Sate' seasoning, which would easily include the list of individual ingredients I was really in no mood to buy on their tight budget (remember, this project eventually went "bust"). I did well to use the Penzey's product, and am here to tell you I resurrected this actually-really-good recipe to make dinner here at home tonight.
You want to consider having some of these things handy at all times in your pantry, so you can throw an incredibly delicious dinner together in 10 minutes like I did tonight with this quick recipe- peanut butter, canned coconut milk, the Penzey's Sate' seasoning or something like it, soy sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice. I tweaked the recipe a little because I didn't have time or interest in marinating anything, so I'm going to tell you just what I did. You won't be disappointed if you do the same!
I think the sauce is perfect as it is. If you want to add some heat, just add a desired amount of your favorite selection from...Light My Fire!
Enjoy, and let us know how you like this!
Til next time, I remain your faithful Tour Maestra,