I think everyone should have an easy, go-to peanut sauce recipe somewhere in their stack of cookbooks and recipe cut-outs. It really is such a versatile condiment: keep it quite thick, and you’ve got a great paste to add to curries and sauces, loosen it up (adding a bit of water or coconut milk) and you’ve got a tasty dipping sauce, go even further and you’ve made the world’s tastiest salad dressing!
This peanut sauce recipe has a handful of ingredients only and can be adapted to fit your tastes. We like ours with a hefty spice-kick to it, so we are extra generous with the red chilies. If you’re not that fond of really spicy foods, you can leave the chilies out, or just add a pinch of dried red chili flakes, and still have a great-tasting peanut sauce!
This sauce has it all – slightly sweet, slightly salty and full of yummy peanut goodness! And if you want to eat it by the spoonful, I won’t judge 🙂
Stay tuned for the best food to pair this peanut sauce with!
It’s the weekend for me! I have to go into work on Sunday to test some new equipment before it can be released clinically but, for once, I don’t have anything pressing to finish at work today. So I’m actually going to take some time off before-hand in order to kind-of / sort-of get in a full weekend.
I see coffee, climbing, cinnamon buns and Callister in my future 🙂
Before that, let’s talk about this Sticky Toffee Pudding. This was one of Jonty’s creations, so I can only take credit for taking the pictures and confirming that it is, indeed, as good as it looks.
I was trying to remember the three W’s of this dessert:
Why did we think of making this pudding?
When did we talk about making this pudding?
Where did the pudding inspiration come from??
We knew the brainwave came sometime during the Christmas holiday. And then I remembered – we sampled some Sticky Toffee ice cream at Earnest Ice Cream when Jonty’s brother was here, and then proceeded to talk about all the great British puddings (desserts) that we love and adore! 🙂
I wasn’t sure if I had ever eaten this pudding before, and Jonty was quite certain that he had never made this pudding before, so really, deciding to make this dessert was a no-brainer.
Jonty scaled down his recipe (the first attempt made a 8″x8″ pan) to a sensible 3-ramekin quantity – one each and a share! 🙂
Making the caramel sauce takes a bit of care and attention, as the melting sugar can go from a solid form to a burning mess in the blink of an eye, so don’t walk away from the stove while you’re making it. Remember, always be careful around hot sugar, the burns can be very nasty.
For the caramel, once the sugar has melted and turned a lovely amber colour, remove it from the heat and very carefully add the cream, whisking to combine (it will bubble up quite a lot). Cover your hands and arms, in case the burning sugar spits out of the pan, because nobody wants to be scarred by their dessert! Add in the butter, if using, and continue whisking the sauce until the butter has melted.
Then you just need to let the caramel sauce cool a bit to thicken up. Yes, the waiting nearly killed me!
I don’t even know what else to say about this dessert, other than …
80 g (~4 large) Medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
½ tsp baking soda
150 mL boiling water
80 g (~1/3 cup) turbinado (or dark brown) sugar
25 g (~2 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
1 egg, lightly beaten
80 g (~1/2 cup + 1 tbsp, spooned and leveled) all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
35 g (~2 tbsp) pecans, chopped
For the Caramel Sauce
100 g (1/2 cup) turbinado (or dark brown) sugar
125 mL (1/2 cup) whipping cream
60 g (1/2 stick) unsalted butter (optional)
For the Pudding
Pre-heat the oven to 350F and fully grease 3 ramekins (ours were 3" in diameter).
Place the chopped dates, baking soda and boiling water into a bowl to soften.
In a large bowl, beat together the turbinado sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the egg and mix to combine.
Stir in the flour and baking powder and mix until well-combined.
Add in the dates AND their soaking water, along with the chopped pecans. Mix until combined, the batter will be quite runny.
Pour into the three greased ramekins and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops are slightly firm to the touch.
For the Caramel Sauce
Place the sugar in a thick-bottomed sauce pan and let dissolve over low to medium heat. Once it melts, it will begin to turn a light amber colour, as it starts to caramelize. As it keeps caramelizing, it will get darker; remove from the heat once it reaches a deep copper colour.
Steadily pour the cream into the caramelized sugar and whisk until combined. Make sure you cover your hands and arms to avoid getting burned by any spitting sugar.
Optionally, add the butter and whisk until it has melted into the sauce.
Let the caramel sauce cool slightly to thicken.
Turn out each of the puddings onto a plate or bowl.
Drizzle as much of the caramel sauce as you would like.
For an 8"x8" cake, simply double the recipe. The cooking time may be slightly longer.
This very tasty meal is one that rears its head multiple times a month in our household. We first made the original recipe, a Broccoli Gribiche from this cookbook, a few years ago, and it’s since been morphed and deconstructed as ingredients and desires change.
Have you ever heard of Gribiche sauce? Me neither. It’s basically a vinaigrette with some egg yolks, herbs, shallots and capers thrown in. Toss it with roasted broccoli and baby potatoes, and you have a wonderfully flavourful, and comforting, bowl of food. Over the years of making this, I’ve decided it’s the combination of pairing the acidic red wine vinegar with the charred sweetness of the vegetables, that makes this dish so great.
If we’re feeling ambitious, we will make a proper Gribiche sauce and blend the oil, vinegar, mustard, herbs and egg yolks together and toss with the warm roasted vegetables. More often than not, we’re lazy and will just toss all (or some!) of the ingredients together and serve it up, deconstructed-style, usually switching the hard-boiled egg with a softly poached one.
Regardless of our method, the result is always tasty and one of us will always utter the phrase “Why does this meal have to taste so great!?”, followed by much nodding 🙂
This is a great weeknight meal when you are craving something warm and healthy. Depending on how quickly you can chop up your vegetables, you can have this meal on the table in under 30 minutes. Not too shabby!
This is what we used, but really, throw in whatever veggies take your fancy. I urge you to keep the broccoli, because roasted broccoli is fantastic! Cut the veggies to roughly the same size in order for them to cook evenly.
For the veggies
½ medium head broccoli, cut into florets (stems can go in, too!)
5 baby potatoes, halved or quartered, depending on their size
2 medium peppers, chopped into large pieces
½ medium zucchini, sliced into thick half-moons
5 - 6 mushrooms, halved or quartered
½ small red onion, cut into large pieces
4 large eggs, poached or cooked to your liking
For the vinaigrette
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp grainy mustard
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Place all the vegetables in a large bowl and toss with a small amount of olive oil. Lay them on the tray in a single layer.
Roast the vegetables for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing half-way through their cook time, until they are soft and slightly charred.
While the veggies are roasting, whisk the olive oil, vinegar and mustard into a vinaigrette, adjusting to taste as necessary.
In the last 10 minutes of the cooking time, prepare the eggs. Jonty poaches them using a method similar to this.
Once the veggies are done, place them into a large bowl and toss them with the vinaigrette and parsley. Taste for seasoning and add more red wine vinegar, salt or pepper to taste. Serve in two large bowls and top with the poached eggs.
This jam is da’ JAM! Three ingredients, nothing you can’t pronounce, and you have jam that tastes better than anything you can buy in the store.
Have you ever tasted coronation grapes? They’re so concentrated, it’s almost wine-like! I bought a few bunches of some these BC Okanagan grapes the other day and decided to roast some up and make jam as a little experiment.
This 3-ingredient jam should be in everybody’s cooking back pocket. It’s so easy, so versatile, and I’m quite certain you have all the ingredients in your cupboard already: fruit, chia seeds and maple syrup!
I decided to roast the grapes first to bring out the flavour, but these grapes are so flavourful that you could definitely skip the roasting and still end up with a very tasty jam. If you go the roasting route, toss a bunch onto a parchment-lined tray and roast in a 425°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the grapes start to burst.
Transfer the roasted grapes to a small sauce pan and place over a medium-low heat. Add the chia seeds and maple syrup and stir to combine. Use your spatula to mash up the grapes a bit, breaking down some of the unburst grapes to release more juice. Keep stirring the grape mixture to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
The chia seeds will expand and thicken the mixture. You will know the jam is thick enough when you can drag your spatula across the bottom of the pan and the grape mixture doesn’t spread back together.
At this point, remove the jam from the heat and spoon into a container with a tight-fitting lid. Let it cool in the container, uncovered, for a few hours and then cover and transfer to the fridge.
The jam will keep for in the fridge for a few weeks, tightly sealed.
Pre-heat the oven to 425°F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Remove the grapes from their stem and place on the parchment-lined tray. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until the grapes begin to burst.
Transfer the grapes to a small sauce pan and add the chia seeds and maple syrup. Over medium-low heat, stir the grape mixture, mashing up the grapes to release their juice.
Stir occasionally to prevent the grapes from sticking to the bottom of the pan. After about 15 minutes, the jam will start to thicken and can be removed from the heat. You know the jam is thick enough when it sticks to the back of a spoon, or when you drag your spatula across the bottom of the pan, the jam doesn't spread back together.
Transfer the jam to a container with a tight-fitting lid. Allow the mixture to cool at room temperature before sealing.
This jam will keep in the fridge for a few weeks, tightly sealed.
Sometimes, the best meals are a direct result of cleaning out our fridge. This weekend, neither of us had a craving for anything in particular, but we bought some prawns (WF special!) the day before that we wanted to use.
The remaining game plan was dictated by: a ripe avocado, several bowls full of grapes, a spare spud and a tomato.
The result? A sweet and spicy grape salsa, guacamole, prawns sauteed in garlic, white wine and a pat of butter, sliced heirloom tomatoes topped with herbed Greek-yogurt and homemade potato chips. We served it tapas-style, sitting on the living room floor with a cold beer and a few episodes.
The prawns topped with guac and grape salsa were fantastic! And adding in the tomatoes and yogurt? Equally great! How about the potato chips dipped in anything and everything? Superb!
I love it when a meal / non-meal tastes better than anything you could have planned 🙂