Tag Archives: peanut sauce

Chicken with Red Thai Peanut Sauce and Cucumber Salad

One more grilling recipe while the weather is still warm!

Asian flavors make a frequent appearance at our dinner table. Thai is one of my personal favorites. It can be made as spicy or mild as you like by adjusting the curry paste or red peppers. This chicken can either be prepared on the grill, or inside in a skillet.

I used the last of the Thai basil from my garden in this, but it is also good with chopped cilantro.

When I cook it inside, I pound the chicken flat first, so that it will cook more quickly. On the grill, I leave the chicken pieces unpounded. The sauce is made from coconut milk, peanut butter and red curry paste, plus a few other standard Asian ingredients (ginger, garlic, soy sauce). The sauce goes together quickly with the use of a regular blender (although, after a cooking demo today, I am feeling some serious Vitamix envy!)

This Thai cucumber salad was a nice accompaniment to the chicken. It is light, just a little sweet, and a little spicy. Made with my favorite little pickling cucumbers.

RECIPES:

Chicken with Red Thai Peanut Sauce

1 can unsweetened coconut milk
1/3 cup peanut butter
2 tsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic
¼ cup soy sauce
2 Tbs rice vinegar
1 Tbs brown sugar or 5 drops liquid stevia
2 tsp red Thai curry paste
1 tsp chicken bouillon

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
about 2 Tbs peanut oil
3-4 Tbs finely chopped Thai basil or cilantro

In a blender combine first 9 ingredients. Blend until combined.

Put each chicken breast inside plastic bag or between plastic wrap and pound to even 1/2 inch thickness. (*NOTE: Pounding the chicken will make it cook quickly on the stovetop. Alternately, you could grill the unpounded chicken breasts on an outdoor grill)

Heat 2T oil in a large skillet. Season chicken with salt and black pepper, then add chicken to pan and sauté until chicken is cooked through. If you need to cook your chicken in batches, then keep chicken warm (on a plate under foil) while cooking additional chicken.

Add sauce to pan. Scrape off browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Turn off heat and mix in chopped Thai basil or cilantro. Serve immediately over warmed chicken breasts, with additional chopped Thai basil or cilantro for garnish, if desired.

Thai Cucumber Salad

4-6 small pickling cucumbers, sliced
½ of a small red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup rice vinegar, unsweetened
¼ cup fresh lime juice (or use additional 1/4 cup rice vinegar)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs sesame oil
5 drops liquid stevia (or 1 Tbs sugar)
1 tsp kosher or sea salt
¼ tsp dried crushed red pepper flakes

Mix sliced cucumbers, onion and cilantro in a bowl. Stir together remaining ingredients. Pour over cucumbers.

 

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Crock Pot Thai Pork Wraps

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As we head into kids’ spring sports seasons, crock-pot meals make a more frequent appearance in our house. I especially like this one in the spring and summer, because it is not a heavy meal like many crock pot meals tend to be.

Cooked and shredded pork in a slightly spicy peanut sauce, topped with crisp, cool cucumber slices and lettuce. Sprinkle with some chopped peanuts and an Asian dressing, and roll the whole thing up in a tortilla (or use whole lettuce leaves for a twist on the traditional lettuce wrap).

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You can use either pork tenderloins or a cheaper pork loin. After cooking in the crock pot all day, both will turn out super tender. Simply put the pork in your crock pot. Combine sauce ingredients (except peanut butter) and pour over pork. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until pork is tender enough to shred.

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Remove the pork roast from the crock pot and shred with forks. Stir some peanut butter (either creamy or chunky) into the sauce in the crock pot. Return pork to crock pot and mix into sauce. Stir in some Thai basil (cilantro also adds a nice flavor, if you don’t have Thai basil).

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I grew Thai basil in our garden last year and loved it! I brought some inside in the fall and have been trying to nurture it along during the winter. I am excited to plant outside again soon!

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DSC02840-1I serve this in warmed tortillas with lettuce, chopped peanuts, sliced cucumbers and an Asian dressing (which is completely optional; the wraps are flavorful enough that you don’t need additional dressing, but the slightly sour vinegar taste does add a nice flavor).

For the cucumber, I use a seedless cucumber and slice it into wide julienned strips. Peel and slice cucumber in half crosswise (giving you 2 cylinders). Cut in half again lengthwise. Slice each piece lengthwise into very thin strips (they should resemble long rectangles, not half-circles).

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This in our favorite Asian dressing. It is found in the supermarket in the produce section by the sushi. You could also use any Asian ginger or sesame/tahini based dressing, as well.

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The flavorful, tender pork topped by the crunchy peanuts and cool, crisp cucumbers and lettuce make for a great texture combination. And the convenience of preparing it early in the day is definitely a plus on hectic weeknights.

 

RECIPE:

Crock Pot Thai Pork Wraps

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2-3 lb pork loin roast (or pork tenderloins)
¼ cup soy sauce
2 Tbs lemon juice
3 Tbs brown sugar
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ cup peanut butter
2-3 Tbs chopped fresh Thai basil or cilantro

Tortillas (or use iceberg/Bibb lettuce for lettuce wraps)
Chopped lettuce
Julienned cucumbers
Finely chopped peanuts
Asian dressing (we like the Miso flavored dressing, found in the produce section by the sushi in our grocery store, but any ginger or sesame/tahini based dressing would be good)

Place pork roast in crock pot. Combine soy sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Pour over roast. Cook on low for about 6-8 hours (about half that on high). Remove pork and skim excess fat. Stir in peanut butter. Shred pork and return to crock pot. Turn crock pot to high and cook for 5-10 minutes uncovered (longer if pork is too liquidy). Stir in Thai basil or cilantro just before serving.

Chop lettuce. Finely chop peanuts. Julienne cucumbers: Peel and slice cucumber in half crosswise (giving you 2 cylinders). Cut in half again lengthwise. Slice each piece lengthwise into very thin strips (they should resemble long rectangles, not half-circles).

To serve: Place pork in tortillas. Top with lettuce, cucumbers, peanuts and dressing.

**These are also good eaten as lettuce wraps; just use iceberg or Bibb lettuce instead of tortillas.

 

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Chicken Stir-Fry in Peanut Sauce

01-20-10 207-1 Stir-fries are a great way to use up small amounts of vegetables left in your crisper. That stray half of a bell pepper, or 6 lonely mushrooms starting to wilt. Such was the state of my refrigerator when I made this stir-fry. I had small amounts of broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, cabbage, pea pods and red pepper that needed to be used up or tossed out. And I just hate throwing food away.

The key to a good stir-fry (tender chicken and crisp vegetables) is to cut EVERYTHING before you start cooking. And get the sauce mixed ahead of time too. I am always tempted to save a few dishes by cutting and adding directly to the wok as I go, but this never ends well. Something always ends up mushy and overcooked.

Start by cutting your vegetables into bite-sized pieces and setting aside. You will need to add them separately to the wok, so you can either use separate bowls for them (which I avoid-again, the extra dishes) or one large bowl. If you are using one large bowl, add the vegetables to the bowl in the reverse order that you will add them to the wok: pea pods and cabbage first (as they will cook the quickest), carrots and broccoli last (as they will take longer to cook). Place a layer of plastic wrap or waxed paper in between your layers for easy removal of vegetables from the bowl to the skillet.

Cut chicken into very thin slices and set aside.

01-20-10 177-1 Stir together sauce mix and set aside.

Heat a little oil in the bottom of a wok or large skillet. Start with your longest cooking veges. I add the broccoli first, saute for 2-3 minutes, or until bright green, then add about 2 Tbs water, put the lid on for about 2 minutes and let it steam. Remove to a serving bowl. Add a little more oil and start adding additional vegetables. If you are making a large amount, cook in small batches, removing cooked vegetables to the serving bowl when they are still crisp (just barely tender-a little under-cooked is best).

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Once all of the vegetables are cooked and removed from the pan, add a little additional oil and cook chicken over high heat until tender. The chicken is mixed first with some curry paste (I like red) and ginger before cooking. Adjust heat or find a lid if the chicken splatters a lot.

Stir sauce mixture into chicken and cook until thickened slightly. This sauce has a soy and peanut butter base with some red curry paste.

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Stir the vegetables back into the pan and cook just until heated through. Serve immediately over hot rice.

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RECIPE:

Chicken Stir-Fry in Peanut Sauce

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2-3 Tbs olive oil or coconut oil
2 cups broccoli florets
1 large red bell pepper, sliced thinly
2 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks
2 cups thinly shredded cabbage
1 cup sliced mushrooms
Handful of snow pea pods
1  onion, diced
4 chicken breasts, thinly sliced
2-3 tsp curry paste, hot or mild, to taste (I use red curry paste)
1 Tbs fresh ginger, grated
4 cloves of garlic, minced

Peanut Sauce:
1  cup hot chicken broth
¼ cup smooth natural peanut butter
¼ cup soy sauce
1 Tbs fresh lime juice (about half of a lime)
1 pkt Stevia (or 1 tsp sugar)
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes, adjust to taste
1 Tbs cornstarch + 2 Tbs water, mixed

**NOTE: Vegetable types are adjustable based on what you have on hand (or what your family will eat).

Mix together sauce ingredients. Set aside. Cut vegetables and chicken and set aside.

Heat 1 Tbs oil over high heat in a wok or large skillet. Cook the vegetables in small batches until crisp-tender (but slightly undercooked). Remove from pan and set aside.

Stir curry paste and ginger into sliced chicken. Add 1 Tbs additional oil to hot wok. Stir in chicken and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic. Cook 1 additional minute.

Add sauce mixture (stir first to incorporate cornstarch) to pan with the chicken. Cook until slightly thickened. Return vegetables to pan and heat through.

Serve over white or brown rice.

Adapted from Glutenfreegoddess

 

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