Sunday, August 29, 2010

Peanut-free Thai Peanut Sauce

Spouse 1.0 and I aren't supposed to have peanuts.  This breaks my heart because I love miniature dark chocolate peanut butter cups. It breaks Spouse's heart because he loves Thai peanut sauce.

Even if commercial Thai peanut sauce didn't have peanuts, it'd probably have a zillion other things we're trying to eliminate... So, why not make my own?

First: What nut to substitute? Cashew butter seemed the most likely choice, if for no other reason than it was already in the fridge.

Next: Google up a likely candidate for a recipe, and read the ingredients and the reviews.

I didn't bother printing the recipe. The reviews said it had too much lime, not enough flavor, blah blah blah.  The important thing is knowing roughly what kind of ingredients to use, and a rough idea of proportions.

So, off to the kitchen to experiment.

Chunked off about 1/2 cup of the cashew butter and put it in the sauce pan. Added a splash of bottled lime juice and a big splash wheat-containing soy sauce.  If I were a loving wife, I'd have squeezed the lime fresh, and used the new bottle of g-free soy.

But, my hands hurt too much for fresh lime, and I figured that a man who still ate a Starbucks sausage sandwich every day wasn't entirely committed to the g-free life yet. So, why not save myself some money and use up some of our old wheat-containing soy sauce.

I really am a horrible person.

OK, back to the sauce. 

Sprinkled in a bunch of sesame seeds, added a big pinch of powdered ginger, and a dash of cayenne. And a small splash of rice vinegar.  Started heating it up, and boy was it thick.  I didn't recall the recipe saying anything about water, but using less lime juice justified adding some other liquid. And some more. And some more.  Maybe a half cup of water in all. Maybe three quarters.

Oh, yeah.  The sweet stuff:  Maybe 2 or 3 coffee scoops of raw sugar.

A little taste test, and it needed more kick. So, another dash of cayenne.  And some black pepper. I should have added garlic, but I think I forgot.

Still a bit thick, but now it tasted pretty good.  I took a teaspoon of it upstairs and woke up the Spouse.  He declared it a little spicy, but generally worthy. Hurray!

Next time, I'll remember the garlic. 

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