We’d all had dinner at our usual fav, Mr. Chow in New York. “…Then all the wives – Julie Anne (Rhodes) and Teresa (Scharf) – got up and went to Nell’s in one car, knowing the husbands would have to follow, they wanted to kick up their heels, they’d been cooped up.” – Andy Warhol, The Andy Warhol Diaries.
Keith Haring originally introduced us to Kenny Scharf. They were great friends, and Keith was a huge champion of Kenny’s work. At the time, Kenny and Tereza were living in Brazil, so we rarely saw them – the mention in Andy’s diaries above was one of those rare occasions, but everything about Kenny Scharf is synonymous with fun. His most recent exhibition here in Los Angeles at the Honor Fraser Gallery is certainly no exception to the rule.
I’d worked hard all week – the new web developer, otherwise referred to as “genius boy” flew in from New York to discuss all the exciting new plans we have in store for Personal Chef Approach members in the coming months, I had all the usual full-time content generation for the site, an impromptu dinner party for a dear old friend, and cooked for two private clients.
Exhausted but determined to get some balance back in my life, I gladly let the Brown sisters whisk me off to Born Again, Kenny’s opening on Saturday night (the show runs through April 4, 2015). The classical paintings embellished with Kenny’s signature monsters immediately prompted a grin across my face and brought out the child within… and out…
…. for Kenny’s work transcends generations. My own inner reaction seemed animated by the less inhibited children perched on their father’s shoulders, and the buzz among the uber chic youngsters mirrored the appreciation my older generation raved on about.
Indeed, while Kenny signed books for Beckielou and Yassi, Amanda Eliasch and I happily skipped through the crowd deciding which painting she should purchase.
Just like old times, I hugged Kenny and couldn’t resist a little dancing – the DJ spinning exactly my era’s tunes, noshing on Downtown Dogs and ….
.. and flopping on old couches to watch Kenny’s films circa 1979-1981 with performance artist Millie Brown. The weekend went from Art TV to TV in bed when mom and dad stopped over for one night on their way home from Palm Springs.
As yummy as I’m sure the Downtown Dogs were, Mr. Chow is still more my “thang”, so mom and dad treated me to my traditional (albeit early) birthday dinner there before flying off to Des Moines the next morning.
All of the food is amazing at Mr. Chow, and the service is second to none. Old skool, European-style perfection to be precise. However, my favorite appetizer will always be the Chicken Satay. While mine is no where near as yummy, I thought you might enjoy my slightly more traditional, lighter (grilled instead of fried) rendition of the dish.
Don’t let all the ingredients scare you. It is very easy to make. The great thing about this recipe is that you can taste as you go along, and alter slightly to suit your specific taste. If you don’t care for spicy? Cut back on the Srirracha sauce. Prefer a less sweet flavor? Use less coconut sugar. If you can’t find an ingredient, others are easily substituted, or you can omit some of the spices without losing the complete integrity of the dish – just a little of the complexity.
1 pound chicken tender
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh Thai basil or cilantro
2 lemon grass stalks, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 Kafir lime leaves or 2 teaspoons lime zest
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Thai chiles, membrane and seeds removed, optional
20 wooden skewers, soaked in water for at least 20 minutes
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoon coconut sugar or dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, minced
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce or 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes, plus more if a spicier sauce is desired
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1/4 teaspoon salt
1). Whisk together all marinade ingredients. Add chicken tenders, toss well to coat, cover, and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours to overnight.
2). Prepare a hot grill or preheat broiler.Remove chicken tenders, shake off excess marinade and thread each tender onto individual soaked wooden skewers.
3). Grill or broil chicken skewers for 2-3 minutes per side, until just cooked through. Serve hot or at room temperature drizzled with peanut sauce and more for dipping.
1). Add all ingredients to a food processor, and process until well combined.
Serving Suggestions: This is usually eaten on its own, straight off of the skewer, but here I served it with the Thai cucumber salad from my Jewels Turkey Jasmine Burgers. The flavors go great together.
Variations: Try making this recipe with sliced flank steak, pork, or shrimp instead of (or in addition to) the chicken.
PS. If you happen to be in Los Angeles, do not miss Kenny Scharf’s show Born Again at the Honor Fraser Gallery Feb. 28-April 4, 2015. Open 10AM – 6PM Tuesday through Saturday at 2622 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90034