Monday, Jan. 24, is National Peanut Butter Day in the United States. Yes, there is a day devoted to this most humble of good-for-you foods.
Peanut butter is a highly economical source of protein that’s loved by kids and kids at heart across the globe. It’s incredibly versatile. How many other foods give you the option of spreading on toast, making sandwiches, baking with it, making candy, mixing with noodles or turning it into a sensational sauce? Honestly, the options seem endless and worthy of a day devoted to its charms.
Did you know you can make delicious, pure peanut butter at home in minutes? Take three cups raw peanuts, toast them in the oven until warm and fragrant, then take them for a spin in your food processor or blender, scraping down frequently until creamy. Add a little honey or salt to taste. Ta da!
This week I’m sharing an easy recipe for a favorite restaurant take-out item: chicken satay with peanut sauce.
Here’s a great no-cook recipe for peanut sauce. It comes together in mere minutes, making it perfect for weeknights. This recipe makes 1 cup of sauce — it’s sufficient for the satay recipe below but easily doubles if you want more for coating noodles or veggies.
SIMPLE PEANUT SAUCE
What You’ll Need:
1/2 cup peanut butter, chunky or creamy
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar or white vinegar
Optional to add heat, cayenne pepper, chili garlic sauce, hot pepper sauce or siracha to taste
Other optional ingredients: 1 to 2 teaspoons minced garlic and/or ginger
Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Stir until smooth. There may come a moment when you wail, “Curse you, Patti Diamond!” because it looks like a curdled mess. Keep stirring — I promise it’ll get lusciously creamy. Add heat to taste, if desired. Rest for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors marry. Use as a dipping sauce for chicken satay, veggies or noodles, chips or spoons, or just use your fingers.
QUICK CHICKEN SATAY
Yield: approximately 24 skewers
What You’ll Need:
Bamboo or metal skewers
2 1/2 to 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
2 teaspoons olive or vegetable oil
Optional garnish – green onion and/or cilantro
Optional – cooked noodles or rice for serving
Soak bamboo skewers in water for 20 minutes before using. Slice chicken into thin strips (I got six strips from each thigh). Set aside. Make marinade by mixing teriyaki sauce and vegetable oil in a bowl. Place chicken in bowl with marinade, making sure all the chicken is covered. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight. Thread the strips of chicken, filling the skewers halfway. This allows for a “handle” to turn the skewers as they cook. To cook, grill on your BBQ or indoor grill, or under the broiler. These cook quickly, so keep your eye on them. Depending on how thick or thin you sliced your chicken, they will take between 5 and 15 minutes to cook. Serve with peanut sauce garnished with green onion and/or cilantro. Noodles or rice make a perfect accompaniment if desired.
If the idea of threading chicken on skewers doesn’t appeal to you, you can simply saute marinated chicken pieces in vegetable oil and serve over rice or noodles topped with peanut sauce.
Whether you prefer crunchy or creamy, we should take every opportunity to celebrate the simple things in life — like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with a glass of cold milk.
Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is the penny-pinching, party-planning, recipe developer and content creator of the website “Divas On A Dime — Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!” Visit Patti at www.divasonadime.com and join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom. Email Patti at firstname.lastname@example.org
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