Peanut butter is delicious straight out of the jar or spread on bread, toast, waffles and any number of other accompaniments. But while it is delightful as a topping for fruits, ice cream and the like, as an ingredient to cook with it is simply superb. In this blog we look at the many uses peanut butter has in cooking, from spicy main courses to baking and everything in between. This amazing product has a multitude of applications and we start with Indonesian Satay.
Indonesian Satay Sauce
There is only one thing to serve with tasty grilled Indonesian chicken and that is the spicy peanut butter dipping sauce. To make the sauce, you will need some crunchy peanut butter, chopped shallots, grated garlic, sweet chili sauce, soy sauce and a squeeze of lime. Mix the raw ingredients together and you have a pungent, sweet, crunchy, slightly spicy and delightful dipping sauce perfect with skewered chicken.
Peanut Butter and Vegetables
Crudites are perfect dipped in a crunchy peanut butter sauce and served as an hors d’oeuvre. Crisp celery sticks and fresh carrots are, perhaps, the best
finger food to dip into your peanut butter, but really any crunchy vegetable will do. Perhaps spice up your peanut butter with a sprinkling of cayenne pepper or chili powder to enhance its flavor, and, of course, let’s not forget some black pepper. There is a snack named Ants on a Log, which is a simple stick of fresh celery covered in peanut butter and sprinkled with raisins. This makes a perfect canopy to serve with cocktails or a glass of chilled white wine.
Peanut Butter and Baking
There are many versions of peanut butter to consider when planning your next baking venture, different brands will use more salt or extra sugar and can be crunchy or smooth. For baking, brands such as Jiff or Skippy usually produce the best results as they have less additives in them, but they have added oils. This will help your bars and cookies stay together and not spread when in the oven. As far as the dough for the cookies is concerned, let your imagination and taste buds dictate which brand you’ll pick.
Warm Peanut Butter
Gently warming peanut butter and using it as a filling or a sauce is a great way to cook with it. When peanut butter is warmed, the texture becomes gooey and luscious and takes on another element. When it is in this loose stage, simply pour it on muffins and it will disappear down the small holes or lather it over freshly cooked pancakes with a squeeze of lemon. Ice cream melds perfectly with the warm peanut butter, and the best flavors are vanilla or chocolate. Sprinkle on some chopped pistachios and you have a regal dessert fit for any fancy restaurant. Really, there is no part of cooking that cannot utilize peanut butter as an ingredient, only your imagination prevents you from experimenting. Everything from spicy main courses, to baking products and sweet sticky desserts, you could create a whole menu around this simple spread that is loved around the world.