According to McCormick’s Flavor Forecast for 2009 Tart Cherry and Cayenne Pepper are the hot new flavor pairing for 2009. In honor of the occasion, here is a lovely recipe I found in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, which calls on tart cherry juice concentrate to provide the perfect tart cherry flavor.
Beef and Cherry Satay
Makes 16 appetizer-size servings
Peanut dipping sauce:
2/3 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons cherry juice concentrate
1/3 cup peanut butter
1½ pounds beef round, fat trimmed
2 tablespoons sesame oil
¼ cup soy sauce
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¾ cup cherry juice concentrate
1 tablespoon dehydrated onions
Cook’s note: Marinate beef a day in advance (about 24 hours).
Preliminaries: You’ll need wooden skewers, which you should soak in water a day in advance.
Make the dipping sauce: Mix together chicken stock and cherry juice and simmer 15-20 minutes. Add peanut butter and stir until blended. Set aside and reheat before serving.
Prepare the beef: Cut beef into strips 1- to 2-inches wide, then into ribbons across the grain about ¼-inch thick. Mix well with remaining satay ingredients and marinate in refrigerator 24 hours.
Grill the beef: Thread strips in and out on skewers. Grill briefly, to your preferred doneness, over medium heat.
Presentation: Reheat dipping sauce and serve with skewers.
Source: Adapted recipe from Northwestern Michigan College Culinary Arts Department.