Monday, March 8, 2010

Thai Peanut Simmer

I don't post much about Asian dishes, although we eat more than our fair share of Indian and Thai. I was tallying up the meat offerings a couple of weeks ago and saw we were a bit heavy on the beef side, and we had gorged on Indian and chicken dishes until we were kind of sick of poultry.  At the local market I found some boneless country ribs that were very lean and on sale, so all I had to do was come up with a way to prepare it while not resorting to the standard sweet/hot grill I use for pork. I've always loved Thai-inspired peanut sauces, I just can't stand fish sauce unless I'm eating a seafood dish; I used to make a variety of African meals using peanuts, mostly chicken but I'd always wanted to give pork a try with a hot and not-sweet nut sauce.  It needed to be a quick meal because we had a play to attend, but I knew it also needed to have a good bit of ballast as we would eat early and not return to GreenWood until late in the evening.  It turned out better than I thought it would, so I added some bell peppers and noodles to a frozen stir-fry mix and served the whole thing over white rice. 

A longtime friend of mine reminded me that he loved a lot of the recipes I share but he's Jewish, and I am one of the most notorious kosher-busters in the realm. So, for my Jew and Muslim friends I'll try to add kosher/halal substitutes as far as my limited knowledge of the dietary restrictions will carry me. All of you, feel free to give me guidance for the recipes you'd like to see here, especially you men who have found yourselves in the role of family chef-

Mister C's Thai Peanut Simmer

2 Pounds Boneless Lean Pork, cut into 2-inch chunks (Substitute Chicken Breast or Lean Beef)
1/2 Cup Chicken Broth
1/2 Cup Light Soy Sauce
4 Tbsp Crunchy Peanut Butter
1/4 Cup Crushed Peanuts, Cashews or Almonds
1 Tbsp Grated Ginger
3 Tsp Minced Garlic, or 3 medium cloves crushed
1 Tsp Sesame Oil or 1 Tbsp Tahini
2 Tbsp Canola or Peanut Oil for frying
1 Medium Sweet Bell Pepper
1 Cup Egg or Udon Noodles
4 Cups Frozen Stir-Fry Mix (optional)
4-8 Cups Rice (prepared)

In a microwave-safe bowl combine the broth, soy sauce, peanut butter, ginger and garlic. I find it's much easier to mix if I heat it up for 30 seconds or so in the microwave to soften the peanut butter, and heating the mix will speed up the mixing of the flavors as well. In a large skillet or wok heat the vegetable oil on medium-high and add the meat, searing it on all sides. Reduce the heat to medium, add the sesame oil and the peppers and cook an additional 5 minutes or until the meat is done. Add the stir fry vegetables and noodles, toss to mix with the peppers and meat then add the peanut sauce to the mix. Simmer for 5 minutes and serve hot over the rice. Beer is perfect with this meal, as is a crisp wine or even a juicebox... Enjoy and tell your friends you got it from Cookin' With Mister C-