Recipes

Balinese Fish Mousse Sates
Sate lilit rank among the most exquisite of Indonesia's sates. Their birthplace is Bali, where they are used in and served at religious festivals. To make them, delicate mousse is flavored with explosively aromatic spices, then enriched with coconut milk and grilled on fragrant lemongrass stalks. The mousse can be made of fish, shrimp, chicken, duck, and even turtle.

Even if you can't find a few of the special ingredients, you can still prepare sate lilit. Kaffir lime leaves, electrifying with their perfumed lime flavor, can be found fresh or frozen at Asian markets, but if none is available, a little grated lime zest will work. Shrimp paste (trassi) is a strong-smelling seasoning made from pickled shrimp. Substitutes include Asian fish sauce or anchovy paste.

Don't be frightened by the long list of ingredients. These sates are easy to make and aren't as time consuming as they seem. The results are truly dazzling.

Direct Grilling

Advance preparation:
2 hours for chilling the mousse

Special equipment:
24 stalks fresh lemongrass, each trimmed to 6 inches long (see Notes), or 24 popsicle sticks, soaked for 1 hour in cold water to cover and drained

For the Spice Paste:
4 large shallots, sliced
4 macadamia nuts

3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 to 3 Thai or serrano chiles, sliced
1 piece (1 inch) galangai or fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 U2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 U2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon shrimp paste or anchovy paste, or 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
1 U2 teaspoon salt
1 1 U2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the Fish Mousse:
12 ounces firm white fish fillets, such as snapper, mahimahi, bass, or catfish

8 ounces shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 U4 cup canned coconut milk
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, or to taste

2 kaffir lime leaves, cut into hair-thin slivers, or 1U2 teaspoon grated lime zest

4 teaspoons palm sugar or firmly packed light brown sugar
Salt, to taste (optional)

1. Prepare the spice paste. Combine the shallots, macadamia nuts, garlic, chile, galangai, coriander, pepper, turmeric, shrimp paste or anchovy paste (see Notes), and salt in a food processor and process to a smooth paste. Heat the oil in a small, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the spice paste and saute until dark and fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and transfer to a small bowl to cool.

2. Prepare the fish mousse. Combine the fish and shrimp in the food processor and process to a smooth puree. Add the cooled spice paste, coconut milk, egg white, 1 tablespoon lime juice, kaffir lime leaves, and sugar and process until thoroughly blended. To test the mixture for seasoning, saute a small amount of it in a nonstick skillet until cooked through, then taste, adding lime juice and salt to the remaining mixture as necessary; it should be highly seasoned. Refrigerate the mixture, covered, for 2 hours.

3. Divide the mousse mixture into 24 equal portions. Lightly wet your hands with cold water, then take each portion of mousse mixture and mold it around the bulbous part of a lemongrass stalk to make a sausage shape about 3 inches long; place the sates as they are finished on a baking sheet lined with plastic wrap. Cover with more plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook, up to 6 hours.

4. Preheat the grill to high.

5. When ready to cook, oil the grill grate. Arrange the sates on the oiled grate and grill until nicely browned on the outside and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. If the fish mixture sticks to the grate, use a long spatula to help turn the sates.

6. Using the spatula, carefully transfer the sates to serving plates or a platter. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer, 2 as an entree

Notes: If you can buy large lemongrass stalks (about 12 inches long with bases 1/2 inch in diameter), the tops may be thick enough to use as skewers; then, because you'll be cutting the stalks crosswise in half, you'll need only 12 stalks.

If using fish sauce, add it to the mousse mixture along with the spice paste in step 2.

This grilled stuffed roast is one of the most colorful churrascuria offerings ever to grace a plate in Rio. Imagine a boneless beef rib roast generously larded with ham, cheese, carrots, peppers, and other vegetables, then roasted to fork-tenderness on a rotisserie (or using the indirect-grilling method). The stuffing serves a dual purpose, both flavoring the meat and forming a colorful mosaic when the roast is sliced. This recipe was inspired by the restaurant Porcao in Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro.

The easiest way to insert the various ingredients for the stuffing that goes into the meat is to use a larding iron, a sharp implement with a V-shaped metal blade that you may be able to find at a cookware shop.

Indirect grilling or rotisserie

Special Equipment:
Rotisserie (optional)

1 boneless beef rib roast (31 U2 to 4 pounds), rolled and tied
2 long slender carrots, peeled and cut lengthwise in half
1 U2 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut lengthwise into 1 U2-inch strips

1 U2 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut lengthwise into 1 U2-inch strips

1 medium onion, cut into 10 wedges
1 slice (1 U4 inch thick) smoked ham (about 2 ounces), cut into 1 U4 inch strips and frozen

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