David Lebovitz's salted butter caramel ice cream. And that does speak volumes.
Anyway, I don’t have a clue where I got the original sauce recipe from, and it’s probably been modified somewhat. In fact, I’m far too lazy right now to walk over to my actual cook book of recipes, so I’ll basically just tell you the jist of it. It’s a sauce, so there’s a little bit of grace in there for the quantities of ingredients.
So if Thai is something you’re craving, you might even have the basic ingredients in your pantry and freezer. Enjoy!
1 tbsp sesame oil
1.5 lbs of chicken tenders (although you could slice chicken breast into long 1” wide strips also)
4-6 cups of loosely packed fresh spinach
(Optional: 3-4 green onions, sliced diagonally into rounds, and one red bell pepper, thinly sliced into strips)
1.5 cups of uncooked rice (basmati, sticky rice, jasmine… it matters not!)
1-2 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 small yellow onion, finely diced
2-3 cloves minced garlic (I usually leave it around 2)
1 cup coconut milk (One can contains nearly 2 cups, so you will have enough left to thin the sauce if needed, or else save the left over coconut milk for smoothies or coconut rice with fresh fruit for dessert.)
1/2 -- 3/4 cup natural peanut butter
2-3 tbsp Thai fish sauce (Oh putrid smelling liquid—how do you make things taste SO good?)
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp lime juice (approximately 1/2 lime juiced)
1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red peppers
Prep rice according to package directions, and set that aside while it’s cooking. Meanwhile, sauté chicken in sesame oil – leave one side down until a good browned “sear” has happened and then flip it. Toss in a pinch of crushed red peppers and a splash of fish sauce towards the end. (If you’re using the optional bell peppers, and green onions, add those about 2 minutes before the chicken is done.)
Meanwhile, work on the peanut sauce. Use a small sauce pan to sauté the onions over medium heat in sesame oil, and add minced garlic near the end when the onion is translucent. Pour in coconut milk, and let simmer over lower heat. When the coconut milk is heated up, stir in peanut butter over low to medium heat. Keep stirring until peanut butter is melted in, and then add seasonings. Avoid adding lime juice until the very end, right before serving and stir it in, or it will curdle your peanut sauce.
When the sauce, rice and chicken are done, I pile it all up on a plate of steamed spinach (which I steam in the microwave, for about 45 seconds.) And yeah, did I mention how delicious this sauce is? You’ll have to stop yourself from eating it, just like I do!
(Edited on 12/05/2012 to add a photo, and brown sugar, to the sauce, which I had inadvertently forgotten about when I typed up this recipe last year.)
Jeanette - Off The Cuff
- Off The Cuff Cooking
- My name is Jeanette, and I was born in Sweden, but unlike the famous Muppet, I am not a professional Swedish Chef. I actually went to school for art, design, and photography. Beyond that, I worked as a freelance indie-rock critic for several magazines in the late 90s and early 2000s. I even took a crack at running a PR company for a while. However, cooking has always been in my DNA--my dad's brother was a chef and culinary arts instructor, my dad's father was a pastry chef, and my mom's mother was a caterer, and at the age of 92, she published a cookbook of traditional Finnish breads and pastries. Everyone else in my family loves to cook, too, and we're not afraid to experiment. Usually I end up inventing dishes (with or without outside inspiration) with whatever I have on hand, hence "Off the Cuff." I might make very Scandinavian dishes (meatballs, and salmon with dill-potatoes) or ethnic like Thai, Japanese, Mexican, Italian or Spanish. By the way, you can put bell peppers in almost all cuisine! (Drop me a line, at o f f t h e c u f f c o o k i n g "at" g m a i l followed by the dot-com. :)