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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Sauces/Rubs/Marinades

PRODUCT: A Better Pasta Sauce From Vino De Milo

hilo-by-milo-230w

You won’t find more nutritious pasta sauce
than this! Photo courtesy Vino de Milo.

 

We first discovered Vino de Milo in 2005. It was a new line of gourmet tomato sauces for pasta and other dishes. Each flavor had a different wine in the recipe. It was a delight atop our pasta, chicken, eggs and tofu, and wonderful for gift-giving to cooks and non-cooks alike.

But not every new product line survives and thrives. Some of our favorites have gone with the wind.

That’s why we’re so pleased that Vino de Milo has grown and expanded, with bruschetta toppings, salad dressings and salsas.

We love that the pasta sauces and the bruschetta toppings, both made from top-quality tomatoes that are so naturally sweet, have no sugar added. Americans consume a ghastly 22 teaspoons of sugar a day (the government recommends only nine teaspoons), much of it from “hidden” sugar added to prepared foods. Read the full review.

Now, the company has added nutrition to its pasta sauce. Hilo by Milo is a high fiber, low sodium pasta sauce with a great nutritional profile. Per 3/4 cup serving, it has:

  • 5 g fiber
  • 4 g protein
  • 150 mg sodium
  • 110 calories
  •  

    The sauce uses crushed tomatoes, of course. But added to them are other fresh ingredients: fresh carrots, adzuki beans, currant purée, fresh onions, onion powder, red wine, fresh fennel, garlic powder, fresh basil, fresh thyme, cumin, black pepper, rosemary and crushed red pepper.

    Yes, you can taste the freshness!

    Like the other Vino de Milo pasta sauces, it is made in small batches with no added sugars added and is gluten-free.

    The products can be ordered from iGourmet.com.
     
      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Apricot Cilantro Salsa

    Seasonal apricot salsa brightens grilled
    chicken or fish. Photo courtesy Landana
    Cheese.

     

    Salsa is simply the generic word for “sauce.” Many centuries before tortilla chips were invented, Aztecs and other Mesoamericans ground ingredients into sauces for meat and fish.

    This salsa recipe was developed as a sauce for chicken or fish, as opposed to a dip for tortilla chips. It comes from Landana Cheese, a Dutch producer specializing in Gouda-style cheeses—hence the unusual addition of cheese. You can omit the cheese, and the salsa is just as good.

    RECIPE: APRICOT CILANTRO SALSA FOR FISH & POULTRY

    Ingredients

  • 5.3 ounces (150g) Gouda-style cheese, shaved (Landana used their 1000 Days aged Gouda)
  • 8 ripe apricots, halved and pitted
  • 6 cilantro sprigs
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  •  

    Preparation

    1. CUT the apricots into a small dice. Remove the leaves of cilantro from the stems and mince them. Juice the lime and grate the zest.

    2. COMBINE the apricots, cilantro, lime juice and zest and paprika and allow the flavors to blend for a half hour or longer. Shave flakes from the cheese and divide them over appetizer spoons or appetizer dishes. Then divide the apricot-coriander salsa over the cheese.

     

    IT’S APRICOT SEASON

    Fresh, ripe, California apricots are have a short peak season, and that season is now.

    Some 95% of the apricots grown in the U.S. come from California. More than 400 growers produce apricots from 21,000 acres of orchards in the San Joaquin Valley in central California, and in the northern part around San Francisco.

    Numerous apricot varieties grow in California, each with special characteristics. The most prevalent varieties are the Blenheims, Castlebrites, Pattersons and Tiltons. Growers continually experiment with new varieties that deliver sweeter, juicier flavor and/or process or ship with more longevity. Fruits are bred to do better in specific soils and microclimates.

    Apricots originated China. Cuttings were brought by caravan across the Persian Empire and planted in the Mediterranean, where they flourished.

    Spanish explorers get credit for introducing the apricot to the New World, and specifically to California, where they were planted in the gardens of Spanish missions. The first major production of apricots was recorded in 1792, in an area south of San Francisco.

     

    FrogHollow-apricots-230

    Organic apricots from Northern California’s Frog Hollow Farm.

     

    HOW TO FREEZE APRICOTS

    If you end up with a wealth of apricots, they can be frozen in sugar syrup, to be defrosted and enjoyed in the cold months when you need a bit of sunshine.

    1. COMBINE 2 cups sugar and 5 cups water. Add 2 ounces ascorbic acid for each 2-1/2 cups syrup.

    2. PLUNGE cleaned whole apricots into boiling water for about thirty seconds. Then peel, pit and halve or slice; place in the sugar syrup and freeze.

    3. DEFROST slowly in the fridge (the best way to retain flavor when defrosting just about anything).

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Vegan Pesto From Sauces ‘n Love

    Sauces-n-Love_Vegan-Pesto-230

    Vegan, lactose free and cholesterol free
    pesto. Photo courtesy Sauces ‘n Love.

     

    Keeping a good jar of pre-made pesto at hand can make any dish extraordinary in only a matter of minutes.

    Pesto sauce, traditionally consists of basil, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts, Parmesan and Pecorino cheeses and salt for seasoning. Add a dollop to dinner and suddenly you’re a fancy cook who understands how to dazzle with delicate herbs. Pesto is vegetarian, low in carbs and packed with fresh ingredients: a bright, healthy addition to your meals.

    Pesto originated in the Italian province of Liguria, 220 miles of crescent-shaped Mediterranean coastline that is sometimes called the Italian Riviera. Liguria, the capital of which is Genoa, is home to superb produce, most notably the sweetest, mildest basil. Its people enjoy one of the freshest, healthiest cuisines in all of Italy.

    Just as pesto can be made with different nuts (hazelnuts, pistachios, walnuts) and greens (arugula, spinach)—or even non-greens, like red pepper pesto—it can be made vegan instead of vegetarian. One way to do this is to substitute vegan Parmesan.

     

    But Sauces ‘n Love has creating a pesto condiment, dip and sauce that eliminates the cheese or cheese substitute. Using only extra virgin olive oil, sunflower oil, basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt and black pepper still creates a delicious pesto.

     

    Why vegan pesto? Aside from accommodating the growing number of vegans, it’s a boon for non-vegans who are lactose intolerant, those cutting back on cholesterol, and kosher consumers who want to serve pesto with meat-based meals.

    Sauces ‘n Love, a NIBBLE Top Pick of The Week is one of our favorite lines of Italian-style sauces, sold fresh in the refrigerator case. A sister line, Scarpetta, is shelf-stable and will stay fresh without refrigeration for nine months. Learn more at SaucesNLove.com.
     
    MORE ABOUT PESTO

  • Pesto Overview
  • The History Of Pesto
  • Pesto Serving Suggestions
  • Homemade Pesto Recipe and Pesto Prep Tips
  • More Favorite Pestos
  •  

    Pesto-SalmonCakes-230

    Beyond pasta: Pesto can be used to enhance most savory dishes. Photo by Guyer Wood | IST.

     

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Easy Apricot Glaze

    An easy way to add more flavor to roasted meat is with a simple glaze. This recipe adds a sweet and spicy touch to chicken, duck, ham, pork loin or turkey.

    If you don’t like heat, cut back on the chili flakes.

    Use any extra glaze as a sauce (dilute it with chicken stock if desired), and the extra sprigs of thyme as a plate garnish. You can also freeze the thyme sprigs as an ingredient or garnish for another day.

    RECIPE: EASY APRICOT GLAZE

    Ingredients

  • 1 jar apricot preserves or apricot jam
  • 1 tablespoon chili flakes
  • ¼ cup of bourbon (optional)
  • 1/4 cup low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon each of salt and black pepper
  • 1 spring of fresh thyme
  •  

    Use extra glaze as a sauce. Photo courtesy National Pork Board.

     

    Preparation

    1. ADD all ingredients to a sauce pan. Bring to boil over high heat then maintain simmer over lower flame. Stir with a wooden spoon to loosen the apricot preserves.

    2. REDUCE until syrupy for about 5-8 minutes.

    3. BASTE meat with mixture roughly every 3-4 minutes during the last 15 minutes of cooking. You can also add a few tablespoons of this mixture to a gravy or other sauce for greater depth of flavor.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: 20+ Uses For Pesto

    The Italian word pesto means paste; the verb pestare means to pound or bruise.

    Classic pesto sauce, which originated in the basil-rich Italian province of Liguria, consists of basil, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts, Parmesan and Pecorino cheeses plus a touch of salt for seasoning. It is traditionally made by pounding the ingredients with a mortar and pestle, which releases more of the flavorful oils in the basil than those made by the blades of a food processor or in commercial production.

    But, switch out the basil for other greens (arugula, spinach), ditch the greens entirely (kalamata olives; orange, red or yellow bell pepper; sundried tomato), switch the nuts (pistachio, walnut), change the seasonings (try sundried tomato pesto with chipotle).

    You can even add fresh tomato, ricotta, yogurt or crème fraîche. Pink pesto, an American invention, is a mix of fresh tomatoes, a bit of pesto, some onions and a hint of cream. Garlic lovers should try roasted garlic pesto, a rich, golden paste flecked with herbs and small walnut chunks.

     

    Pesto as a cheese condiment. Photo courtesy EatWisconsinCheese.com.

     
    Don’t be hesitant: Try anything. The pestobilities are endless!

    Pesto At Breakfast

  • A condiment with any style of eggs
  • A spread for toast and other breads
  • Mixed with cream cheese or Greek yogurt on a bagel
  •  

    A traditional use of pesto: as a garnish for
    fish, meat or poultry. Photo courtesy
    PaperChef.com.

     

    Pesto At Lunch & Dinner

  • A topping for pasta and pizza
  • A condiment with proteins: chicken, pork, seafood, tofu
  • A garnish or mix-in for beans, rice and other grains (barley, quinoa, etc.)
  • A topping for vegetables
  • With potatoes (try pesto potatoes instead of parsley potatoes; pesto mashed potatoes are a must!)
  • As a sandwich spread (with anything from tuna salad to grilled cheese)
  • To bind a pasta salad or potato salad, alone or with mayonnaise
  • Mixed into vinaigrette or other salad dressing
  • Pesto croutons*
  • Mixed into meatballs and meat loaf
  • Layered between tomato and mozzarella slices (Caprese salad)
  • Mixed with mayonnaise for “instant” flavored mayo
  • In compound butter (delicious in baked potatoes)
  • On burgers and hot dogs
  • As a soup garnish
  • In stir-fries
  • In marinades
  •  

    In Liguria, popular pesto-and-pasta dishes include trenette and triofe alla Genovese. Trenette, flat ribbon pasta almost identical to linguine with a surface the sauce can cling to. Triofe are dumpling-like, rolled, worm-shaped pasta with crevices for pesto to fill. You can substitute gnocchi; and if you’re a penne or rigatoni person, go for it. You can use any substantial pasta that can take a heavy dressing (i.e., not angel hair); and by all means, use pesto instead of red sauce in your lasagne.

    Here’s how to match pasta shape to type of sauce.

    Pesto With Appetizers & Snacks

  • On bruschetta, crostini or crusty bread (the difference between bruschetta and crostini)
  • As a dip for crackers or crudités, alone or mixed into mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt
  • As a cheese condiment
  • As a hummus garnish or mix-in
  •  
    MAKE YOUR OWN PESTO

    Here’s a delicious and easy pesto recipe.

    Whether it’s your own or store-bought, here’s how to store pesto.

    Our favorite pesto brands.
     
    *Pesto croutons: Combine 4 cups bread cubes, 3 tablespoons pesto and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Spread on a baking sheet; bake 20 minutes at 350°F.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Fresh Pesto

    Look for deals on basil and make pesto.
    Photo courtesy PreciseNutrition.com.

     

    Our greenmarkets are flooded with huge bunches of basil, just beckoning to be made into pesto sauce. Pesto traditionally* consists of basil, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts, Parmesan and Pecorino cheeses, plus a pinch of salt. It originated in the Italian province of Liguria, 220 miles of crescent-shaped Mediterranean coastline that is sometimes called the Italian Riviera—and produces the sweetest, mildest basil.

    The capital of Liguria is Genoa, and the region’s classic pesto is known as pesto alla genovese (jen-oh-VAY-zay). Ligurians take such great pride in their sauce, that they have sought D.O.P. status for pesto produced in the area (an official labeling that distinguishes a product for its authenticity and excellence and protects the use of the name).

    The sauce gets its name from the word pestle; a mortar and pestle are the traditional device used to make pesto.

    For centuries, pesto was used mostly as a condiment, to flavor vegetable soups. It wasn’t until 1910 that it began to be used as a sauce for pasta.

     
    *Earlier versions of Ligurian pesto used parsley or marjoram instead of basil, and did not include the pine nuts. Delicious pestos can be made with arugula or other green, and with walnuts or hazelnuts. Regions that have an abundance of those nuts will make the substitution. Some recipes use a combination of Parmesan and Pecorino cheeses; others use only one. Some add butter to the pesto for added creaminess. Ligurian cooks have also been known to occasionally incorporate cooked potato into the sauce. At times, they combine pesto with tomatoes, or add a light, fresh cheese, like ricotta or prescineua, a cultured cheese similar to yogurt or crème fraîche.

    WAYS TO USE PESTO

    Traditional preparations with pesto include trenette, flat ribbon pasta similar to linguine but with ridges the pesto can clink to; and triofe alla Genovese, dumpling-like, rolled, worm-shaped pasta with crevices for pesto to fill. With the latter dish, small pieces of potato are boiled with the dry pasta, and when they’re almost done, string beans are added to the boiling liquid. The three ingredients are then tossed with pesto, adding some starchy cooking water to help it coat.

    How else can you use pesto?

  • Bruschetta: Spread pesto on toasted or grilled bread for an easy snack or hors d’oeuvre.
  • Caprese salad: Substitute pesto for the oil and fresh basil of a Caprese salad (bufala mozzarella and tomatoes).
  • Condiment: Spread pesto on sandwiches, straight or mixed into mayonnaise. That pesto-mayo will also spruce up your chicken and tuna salads, and make a fusion pesto-aïoli. Or, add some pesto to your marinade.
  • Dip: Use pesto as a dip with crudités or French fries; or mix it with mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt for a creamy dip and sauce that goes with just about anything.
  • Fish and meats: Spoon pesto atop grilled, poached or roasted food, or spoon the pesto onto a plate and place the food on top of it. Like chimichurri† sauce, it’s really delicious on steak.
  • Pasta and pizza: Pesto can be used in lasagna, on gnocchi, and with any other shape of pasta. Just place a few spoonfuls in a bowl, add the cooked pasta and a touch of pasta cooking water, and stir. One of our favorite ways to serve this is with whole, toasted pine nuts, shredded prosciutto, freshly grated Parmesan and peas. We also drizzle it on pizza—both homemade and delivery.
  • Soup: A dollop of pesto, made without nuts, can be added to minestrone or other vegetable soup. In France, pistou is the name of a pesto-like sauce and the soup to which it is added.
  • Vegetables and grains: Pesto is delicious with potatoes, rice and other grains (barley, quinoa, etc.). Instead of parsley potatoes, think pesto potatoes.
  • Vinaigrette: Herb and garlic pestos make fabulous additions to vinaigrettes. Whisk a spoonful with some lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil, or add it to your favorite vinaigrette recipe.
  •  
    †Chimichurri is a spicy vinegar-parsley sauce that is the leading condiment in Argentina and Uruguay, as salsa is to Mexico. It is made of chopped fresh parsley and onion, seasoned with garlic, oregano, salt, cayenne and black pepper, and bound with oil and vinegar; it is served with grilled meat.

     

    PESTO ALLA GENOVESE, AKA PESTO CLASSICO

    Ingredients

  • 1 pinch coarse salt
  • 60 small or 30 large fresh basil leaves, wiped, stems and spines removed
  • 1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, peeled, any green shoots removed
  • 3 tablespoons/22g pignoli nuts
  • 2 tablespoons/15g fresh, finely grated Pecorino Sardo
  • 2 tablespoons/15g fresh, finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 3 tablespoons/45 ml extra virgin olive oil (mild or fruity)
  •  

    The result of your labors: delicious pesto. Photo by Loooby | IST..

     
    Variations

    If you’re not a huge basil fan, try arugula, cilantro or spinach pesto. Pesto doesn’t have to be green: You can make it from mushrooms, olives, red bell peppers or sundried tomatoes. You can add chipotle, honey, maple syrup, olives, roasted garlic or whatever appeals to you, to make your signature pesto.

    Preparation

    1. PLACE the sea salt and a few of the basil leaves in a mortar. Using a pestle, press and lightly pound the leaves and salt against the coarse bowl of the mortar, in a rotary motion, breaking the leaves apart. Keep adding a few more leaves and grinding them until you’ve used them all. Do not completely pulverize.

    2. ADD the garlic and pound it until it releases its juices. Add the pignoli nuts and pound them into a paste. Move the pestle around the mortar to combine the ingredients.

    3. STIR in the Pecorino and Parmigiano-Reggiano; then gradually add olive oil, stirring it into the paste (a spoon can be used for these steps, if you prefer). You should have a thick, creamy, homogenous, bright green sauce.

    BLENDER OPTION

    You can make pesto in a blender or food processor. We’ve done it both ways. Believe us, it tastes better when made with a mortar and pestle. If you want the ease of an electric appliance, choose the a blender.

    1. COMBINE half the olive oil and all the ingredients, excluding the cheeses. Process, adding more oil, if necessary, to get the ingredients moving.

    2. STOP the blender regularly to push the mixture down. Once a paste forms, stir in the cheeses, as well as additional olive oil, if desired.

    MORE ON PESTO

    Check out our article with reviews of the best ready-made pesto brands.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Ways To Season Chicken

    You don’t want a bland chicken, so dig out
    the spices and season away! Photo courtesy Butterball.

     

    Barbecue sauce is the number one food that THE NIBBLE receives over the transom (and old publishing expression that means unsolicited). Barbecue sauce is expensive and totally unnecessary. Our mother rotisseried a wonderfully delicious, plump bird several times a week, using only garlic salt, onion salt and pepper. No bottle of barbecue sauce ever crossed her threshold.

    Of course, there are many options between those two extremes: numerous different ways to season a chicken, drawing from just about every cultural influence. It can be as simple as trussing the bird, then sprinkling or basting with your favorite flavors. Or, you can be as imaginative as you like. Here are some suggestions that leave out the sugar, so you can enjoy a broiled, grilled or roasted chicken as the lower-calorie protein it is.

    Here are tips from Chef Johnny Gnall, starting with a…

     

  • Basic Roast Chicken. If you prefer a simple bird, just sprinkle salt and pepper over it. But not your mother’s S&P: Use sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, with one of these varietal peppercorns. Basting the chicken with melted butter during roasting will also add a lot of flavor; and drizzle some fresh lemon juice on the cooked bird to add a bit of freshness and lightness (and counterbalance the rich butter. For added flavor, stuffing the cavity with half a peeled onion and a lemon that has been cut in half. (You can use this trick for any roast chicken recipe.)
  • Asian Seasoning. Stuff the inside cavity of the bird with a half a head of peeled garlic and a 1-inch knob of ginger. Baste the skin with your favorite Asian marinade or dressing (we like the Palcha line of Thai-fusion dressings), or make your own with this easy recipe.
  •  

  • Southwestern Seasoning. Take 4 tablespoons of your favorite barbecue rub (here are 10 barbecue rub recipes) and mix in 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground coffee. The ground coffee flavor will not be prominent; in fact, few people will know it’s there. Yet, it will enhance the other flavors while adding a delightful earthiness, as it does in a good chili recipe.
  • Spicy Seasoning. If you enjoy your foods heavily spiced, simply add some dried herbs along with your favorite spice combinations. For example, mix equal parts (or your preferred proportions) of chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, dried thyme and paprika. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can blend in a stick of melted butter or oil to create a wet rub and basting paste.
  •  
    MAKE YOUR OWN SPICE RUB

    If you want to use a spice rub but don’t have one on hand, it’s easy—and far more economical—to create your own out of the spices you have in your pantry. You can use a simple ratio of two parts salt to one part each of any other spice(s). Johnny’s favorite is two parts salt to one part each of chipotle chili powder, coriander, cumin and light brown sugar.

     

    There’s need to buy spice rub: It’s a combination of the spices you probably have in the cabinet. Photo by Elena Elisseeva | IST.

     

    WE’RE NOT ANTI BARBECUE SAUCE, by the way. Find our favorite barbecue sauces and rubs in our Rubs, Marinades, Sauces & Glazes Section.
     

    HOW MANY PARTS OF THE CHICKEN CAN YOU NAME?

    Check out our Chicken Glossary, which covers the different parts of chicken, the history of chicken and much more.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Flavorful Tofu Salad Dressing

    Tofu salsa verde makes a delicious salad dressing and all-around condiment. Photo courtesy House Foods.

     

    We’re in an Asian state of mind today; in addition to this homemade ramen soup recipe, we whipped up a green salad with a salsa verde tofu dressing.

    Tofu is a wonderful ingredient for salad dressing, adding protein and fiber to a condiment that typically has neither.

    This recipe was created by Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos, stars of Cooking Channel’s show Extra Virgin. They used House Foods Organic Soft Tofu, but you can use any soft/silken tofu.

    ABOUT SALSA VERDE

    Salsa verde is a cold rustic sauce/dressing that typically includes anchovies, capers, garlic, olive oil, onion, parsley, vinegar and sometimes, mustard. The parsley provides a green tint. Salsa verde is used as a condiment or dipping sauce for meats, fish, poultry, or vegetables.

     

    In some regions, cubed bread is soaked in vinegar and then blended with the other ingredients, creating an emulsion somewhat similar to a vinaigrette.

    Another variation of the recipe, gremolata, is the traditional accompaniment to osso bucco, the popular braised veal shank dish.

    Salsa verde is a great accent to many dishes. And because it’s so flavorful, you can cut back on added salt.

    Use it as a condiment with meat (from lamb, pork or rib roast to veal and venison), poultry, pasta, potatoes and other vegetables (we love it with sautéed string beans) or salad.

    The salsa verde concept probably originated in the Near East some 2,000 years old. The Roman Legions brought it back home to Italy, from where it traveled to other countries.

    In their recipe, Debi and Gabriele substitute tofu for the olive oil.

     

    HEARTS OF ROMAINE SALAD WITH TOFU SALSA VERDE (SALAD DRESSING)

    Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/2 package (14 ounces) soft (silken) tofu
  • 1/3 cup parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers (packed in vinegar)
  • 2 oil-packed anchovies
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 hearts of romaine, chopped, and any other desired salad ingredients
  •  

    Use soft tofu or silken tofu. Photo courtesy
    HouseFoods.com.

     
     
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE tofu, parsley, capers, anchovies, garlic, and lemon juice in a food processor and blend until smooth.

    2. PLACE romaine and other salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss with salsa verde. Leftover dressing can be kept refrigerated in a covered container for 2 days.

    VARIATION: To make this recipe vegetarian/vegan, replace the anchovies with 2 more teaspoons of capers.

    Find more delicious recipes with tofu at House-Foods.com.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Asian Peanut Sauce

    For both Asian- and Western-style salads,
    peanut sauce is a delicious dressing. Photo
    courtesy National Almond Board.

     

    If you enjoy a plate of Asian sesame noodles, that yummy, peanut butter-based sauce is equally versatile as a:

  • Dip for raw vegetables (crudités)
  • Grilled chicken, fish or tofu sauce or dip for
    skewers
  • Pasta sauce
  • Rice and grains sauce
  • Salad dressing
  • Sandwich and wrap condiment
  • Steamed or grilled vegetable sauce
  •  
    While peanut butter, coconut milk or cream, garlic and soy sauce are common to all recipes, there is no one version of peanut sauce. Every region has its own signature style.

    For example, Indonesian peanut sauce uses lemongrass, tamarind juice and miso; Thai peanut sauce uses lime juice and cilantro.

     

    You can make a double batch and keep it tightly sealed in the fridge, ready to add flavor to so many different dishes. It’s a quick and nutritious snack with baby carrots or hard-cooked eggs, and delicious with leftovers (one of our favorites: mix with leftover rice; add some peas, chopped green onions and diced bell pepper).

     

    ASIAN PEANUT SAUCE RECIPE

    Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce*
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce†
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  •  

    Grilled fish is delicious with peanut sauce. Photo courtesy Pollen restaurant.

     

    *For more heat and colorful flecks, add red chili flakes to taste.

    †If you don’t want to buy fish sauce just for this recipe, substitute Worcestershire sauce. If you think you’ll be making peanut sauce regularly, invest in the fish sauce.
     
    Preparation

    1. WHISK together ingredients, except cilantro, in a small bowl.

    2. MIX in cilantro just before serving.

    3. FOR A THINNER SAUCE OR DIP, dilute with water, one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Other Ways To Use Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce

    If you like spicy Thai peanut sauce on noodles, expand the ways you use it:

  • On grilled chicken, shrimp or other seafood, along with rice or noodles
  • As the sauce for Thai chicken pizza (top with diced cooked chicken breast, sliced green onions, grated mozzarella, grated carrot and chopped fresh cilantro, sesame seeds, diced red pepper—bell pepper or hot variety)
  • On Pad Thai, Thai chicken, beef or fish wraps; grilled beef/chicken fish, satay or skewers
  • As a dip with crudités
  •  
    Crudités have long been served with a creamy dip based on mayonnaise, sour cream and/or yogurt—which means cholesterol, unless you use fat-free products. Substitute creamy butter and keep the creaminess, while trading the animal fats for healthier peanut oil.

    If you don’t like heat, spicy peanut dip can be made without the spice. It’s still delicious.

     

    A creamy, spicy peanut dip for raw vegetables. Photo by Andrea Hernandez | Peanut Butter & Co.

     

    SPICY THAI PEANUT SAUCE

    Makes 3 cups sauce. If you’re using the sauce on an entrée, versus as a dip, make it more complex by adding the two optional ingredients.

    Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil or other vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium jalapeno, seeded and minced; or 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
  • 1 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
  • 1-1/4 cups coconut milk (you can substitute water; the result will be less rich)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • Optional for dinner sauce: 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
  • Optional for dinner sauce: 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
  •  

    Preparation

    1. HEAT oil over medium heat in a sauté pan. Add onion and sauté until tender.

    2. ADD garlic, jalapeño and ginger; stir for 2 minutes.

    3. ADD peanut butter, coconut milk, soy sauce and honey; stir to thoroughly combine. Remove from heat; add vinegar.

    4. OPTIONAL for an entrée sauce: Add shredded basil. Heat through, and remove from heat.

    5. OPTIONAL for an entrée sauce: stir in chopped peanuts.

     
    FIND MORE OF OUR FAVORITE DIP RECIPES.

      

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