Easy Spicy Peanut Sauce

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Today I went somewhere I dread going on par with the DMV…the Apple Store. Specifically the Genius Bar, since my computer has been having a major issue with staying on when I’m using it. Rude. I’ve managed to avoid this trip for moths, but it was inevitable and I finally decided to deal with it. It was just shutting off at all kinds of random times and it turns out (as Sean predicted) the video card is failing. So, it’s with the good people of Apple, getting repaired and I wont see it again for a week. I have feelings about it being away, but it’s probably good for us. The heart grows fonder and all that stuff. I realize I may be being a bit dramatic, but I hate this stuff.

I know this isn’t really a problem (evidenced by the fact that I’m still able to type this up thanks to an iPad) so, I’ll stop talking about it and talk about something far more interesting. Something super delicious on all sorts of things and so easy to stir up. I’ll talk about this peanut sauce. It’s great with summer rolls, like the ones pictured in my Easy Vietnamese Pickles recipe. It’s also great with carrot or celery or cucumber sticks and with simple grilled chicken. I also think it would be great stirred into pasta and garnished with scallion and chopped peanuts for a cold noodle salad. The best part about this sauce, besides it being so flavorful, is that it comes together with ingredients you may already have in the pantry and refrigerator: zippy lime, salty fish sauce, nutty peanut butter, spicy sriracha, and sweet maple. A little water takes this sauce from a thick paste to a silky sauce, so don’t be worried if it looks like a strange consistency at first. It’s so good! So seriosuly, make it, dip it, mop it, pour it down your gullet (what? why? sorry). Whatever you’re into.

[recipe]

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Easy Spicy Peanut Sauce

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

I have used both natural peanut butter and commercial peanut butter for this recipe with great results.

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

juice and zest of 1 lime

1 clove minced garlic

1 tablespoon sriracha

2 teaspoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/4 to 1/2 cup water

In a bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients, except the water. Whisk in enough water to thin to a consistency you like. I use closer to 1/2 cup of water. [/recipe]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grilled Burgers with Troublemaker Wine Sauce + Blue Cheese

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Can we talk about TV? Specifically, can we talk about how goddamn amazing it is that Kristin Wiig plays young-Lucille on Arrested Development?! I think I shouted my approval at the TV, this happens when casting is just THAT good…or, you know, when the storyline throws me into a fit of tv-rage. Happens.

I, unabashedly, love TV and I will get sucked into a series and then re-watch it for eternity (i.e Arrested Development, the Office, Buffy, etc.)… Lucille Bluth was already pretty much my favorite character, Jessica Walter is ahhhh-mazing and Kristin Wiig just completes the character, full circle. I love it!

Maybe because I secretly have a sharp-tongued Lucille Bluth deep within me and maybe because the nice people at Jarvis Communications sent me some Troublemaker wine on behalf of their client, I made a wine-sauced burger. Though Lucille would never eat anything my thumb touched and to her this is probably considered pool-food, I’m pretty sure she’d ingest any booze-laced food item over anything non-boozed.

Enter this burger. That one, way up there…it was my dinner on Monday and it was amazing. Red wine and beef are known friends, and I just love ‘em together. I reduced the wine with some beef stock, sautéed shallots, a ton of coarse black pepper and spooned it over these serious grilled burgers. Rachel, from Jarvis, kindly included a special burger blend (including short rib, holla!), even though when we spoke on the phone I was a total spaz and apparently forgot how to be a human being. Wine AND phone skills beget major points from this girl…

ANYWAY, I’m not a patty-forming pro, as evidenced, but the flavor did not suffer! The rich beef paired with the lush wine sauce was perfection with a sprinkled of blue cheese.  I’m no wine aficionado  but I do love a dry, smooth wine anytime. Troublemaker is exactly the kind of red I’d want to sip with a beefy burger — it’s rich, yet smooth, with lots of fruit, but still dry. I’m not a sweet wine drinker, but I do love there to be some fruit in there and this wine delivered. I could totally see myself bringing this as a host’s gift, and it doesn’t hurt that the label is cool too…I’m a sucker for a good wine label!

*Jarvis Communications provided me with both the wine and beef to try at my leisure. I was not compensated for this post, and as always all opinions are honest and my own. I do not promote products I have not tried and do not love. Cheers! [recipe]

Print Recipe

Grilled Burgers with Wine Sauce

This wine sauce is inspired by a pan sauce I throw together anytime we have steaks–which is, like, once a year…on our anniversary. For a pan cooked burger, use the same pan to make the sauce–aka PAN SAUCE (duh!). It will rock your world, I promise. 

Makes enough wine sauce for several burgers. Refrigerate leftovers in a lidded container for 1 week.

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 shallots, sliced

1/4 cup beef stock

1 cup dry, red wine

1 Tablespoon coarsely cracked black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard

2 Tablespoons butter

salt to taste

1 lb. ground beef

salt + pepper

3-4 split buns (I used store-bought brioche)

lettuce, tomato, crumbled blue cheese, sliced onions, or whatever other toppings you like.

In a skillet or saucepan over medium heat, sauté the shallots in the olive oil until tender and translucent  Add the beef stock, bring to a boil, and reduce until there is just a small amount of liquid left in the pan, add the wine, and bring back to a boil. Continue to cook until reduced by half. Whisk in the black pepper and dijon, then the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time until incorporated. Season with salt to taste. Pour into a dish and set aside until ready to serve.

Heat your grill–I have a gas grill, but you could use charcoal or a grill pan indoors. Whatever works! I like to grill burgers on a screaming hot grill for maximum crusty-bits. While your grill heats, divide the beef into 3-4 equal parts, form into patties without compacting them too much, sprinkle liberally on each side with salt and pepper, and grill, flipping only once, for desired doneness. I am a fan of a medium-rare to medium burger — but do what you like/want/desire. Top the hot burgers with blue cheese and tent with foil while you toast the buns on the grill (be sure to watch them, as they will turn into charcoal in seconds). Assemble burgers however you like, topping with a generous spoonful of the wine sauce. [/recipe]

Irish Coffee Milkshake with Whiskey Caramel

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Yes, it’s another ice-cream-drink…and yeah, maybe it was lunch yesterday. I hope you don’t mind, I’m just in the mood for stripey straws and swift-sweet-tooth-satisfaction…plus, this one is different because of the BOOZE factor.

It’s no secret that this weekend is a BFD for lovers of all things green, and pinching, and Ireland, and Guinness,  and corned beef, and whiskey, and drunk-stumbling camaraderie. As a certifiable hermit, I’m not one for crazy, raucous partying, but I do like to get down with a festive, boozey, treat to share with my favorites (you all included!). Enter this milkshake. It’s dead-simple, I mean…I know we can all handle making a milkshake, so think of this as more of a suggestive guide, rather than a recipe.

We’re blending together store-bought coffee ice cream, a little milk mixed with a little espresso powder, some whiskey (if I had any shame, I’d be real and use certifiable Irish whiskey…but I didn’t), and a boozed-up homemade caramel sauce. This shake has some of my favorite flavors ever–I mean, whiskey and caramel should just be BFF’s, right? plus, coffee? Get out. This shake is a quick indulgence for one, but can be easily adapted to make a batch of impressive, crowd-pleasing treats. Pop in a straw and knock one back!

Irish Coffee Milkshake

Makes 1 milkshake. 

I’m sure you guys know what a milkshake is all about and exactly how you like them, so ratios below are just a suggestion. Shake it up, add mix-ins, do yo’ thing. 

2 hefty scoops of your favorite coffee ice cream

2-4 tablespoons of milk

1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder

1 ounce (or as much as you want) whiskey

whiskey caramel sauce (recipe below)

whipped cream to garnish

Begin by dissolving the espresso powder in the milk, add to a blender canister along with the ice cream, whiskey, and a generous drizzle of caramel sauce. Blend it up! Drizzle the inside of your glass with more caramel, pour in the shake, top with whipped cream and more caramel if desired. Cheers!

Whiskey Caramel Sauce:

adapted from THIS recipe.

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1 Tablespoon golden syrup (or corn syrup)

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

2/3 cup heavy cream

1 ounce whiskey

1/4 teaspoon salt

In a medium saucepan combine the sugar, water, and golden syrup, gently combine. Heat over medium-high until the mixture becomes a syrup and comes to a boil. Continue to boil until the syrup becomes a deep golden, brown caramel color–as dark as you dare before it burns. Remove from heat and quickly whisk in the butter, cream, and salt, until smooth. Return to heat if needed to create a smooth sauce. Whisk in the whiskey to combine. Pour into a heatproof jar and cool. Can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for a week.