Friday, November 11, 2011

Food: Peanut Butter Stir Fry

Wow!  I can't believe how long it's been since I posted.  I also can't believe I let this post sit half finished for a month!

Some of my favorite things in the world are Thai food, peanut butter, and using up things that are about to go bad in my fridge.  This recipe really helps satisfy all of them.  Please modify your recipe to include whatever kind of meat (or tofu) and veggies you have--that's the best part of this dish!
The ingredients: 
These guys you really need
Garlic (1-2 cloves)
Onion (1 med/large)
Bell Peppers (1-2 red, green,whatever)
1 hot pepper (jalapeno, chilis) with or without seeds depending on your heat preference
Peanut butter (1 cup or so)
Chicken or vegetable stock/broth (1-2 cups)
Coconut MILK (4 oz.)
Lemon or lime juice to taste (fresh works best and looks prettiest)
Protein (1/4 -1/2 lb. chicken, steak, pork, tofu)
Curry powder (TBS or so)
Ground ginger (1 tsp or so)
Hot sauce to taste (I like Srirachi sauce)
These guys are whatever you have in your kitchen
Green onions*
Cilantro (to garnish)
The steps:

Chop all of your veggies into bite size pieces, with the exception of the garlic and hot pepper which should be diced pretty finely.  Remember to remove the seeds of the hot pepper if you don't like things as spicy.
Put everybody in a good size pan with a bit of oil and a sprinkling of salt.  I've used peanut, olive, canola, and sesame for this and it all kind of comes out the same taste-wise, so use whatever you like.  I like to ride the line between a sweat and a sautee on this.
Cook veggies to mostly soft (I like mushier veggies) and then transfer to a bowl to set aside.
Get out your protein (I used chicken this time, but I usually do tofu or a mix), and cut it into bit size pieces.  Before adding it to your pan, you may want to add a little more oil.  Toss in the curry powder and ginger with the chicken and a bit of salt and black pepper to taste.

Cook the chicken until brown and just barely cooked, and then remove from pan and set aside.

Now we make the sauce!
Add your peanut butter and coconut milk to the pan, and stir over med-low heat until mostly combined.  This could take a minute, so be patient.  If you'd like to add more curry or ginger, now's the time.

Once combined, it will thicken pretty quickly over the heat, so start adding in the stock until you get your desired consistency.  I usually thin it out until it's back to the consistency of the coconut milk, as I find it coats things well that way.

Add your chicken, and heat for a minute.
Then add your veggies.

I serve this over rice (usually the sticky white kind), then garnish with lime wedges (or just some juice), chopped cilantro, and green onions, and put out a bottle of srirachi (hot sauce) for folks to add as they please.

This also freezes really well with or without the rice.; I divide it up into invidual servings in tupperware and freeze for up to 3 months.  Heat in the microwave a few minutes and enjoy!

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