Monday, July 19, 2010

The Daring Cooks July 2010 Challenge: Nut Butters : Asian Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing and Grilled Curry Chicken

The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online. We were given a few recipes to pick from and many choices of nuts. I chose the Asian Noodle salad recipe with Peanut Dressing and decided to add grilled curry chicken on top (the original recipe uses shrimp).

Asian Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing

Yield: 4 servings

Recipe notes: Customize the salad by adding or substituting your favorite vegetables. Shredded cabbage, bean sprouts, and slivered carrots would make nice additions. Obviously, you can omit the shrimp, or substitute chicken or tofu or the protein of your choice. The dressing is equally as good with peanut butter rather than cashew butter. We tested the dressing with nut butters made from salted cashews & peanuts with good results.


Peanut Butter:
1 cup dry roasted peanuts (I used unsalted)

Make peanut butter: Grind peanuts in food processor for about 2 minutes until smooth. (*Or start with ½ cup prepared peanut butter.)

Peanut Dressing:
½ inch (1 cm) slice of fresh ginger, chopped
8 cloves garlic, more or less to taste, chopped
½ cup (120 ml) peanut butter
¼ cup (60 ml) soy sauce
3 Tablespoons (45 ml) sugar
3 Tablespoons (45 ml) vinegar
3 Tablespoons (45 ml) toasted sesame oil
¼ cup plus 1 Tablespoon (75 ml) water
Hot sauce to taste (optional)

Prepare peanut dressing: Combine ginger, garlic, peanut butter, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, and water in food processor or blender. Process/blend until smooth. Be sure to process long enough to puree the ginger and garlic. The dressing should be pourable, about the same thickness as cream. Adjust consistency – thinner or thicker -- to your liking by adding more water or peanut butter. Taste and add your favorite hot sauce if desired. (If the cashew butter was unsalted, you may want to add salt to taste.) Makes about 1 ½ cups (360 ml) dressing. Store any leftover dressing in the refrigerator.

My Grilled Curry Chicken

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (butterfiled)
2 TBS peanut butter
1 tsp curry powder
1 TBS fish sauce (optional)
1 TBS lime juice
pinch of salt

Marinate the chicken with rest of the ingridients for about 15 min and grill. Chop the grilled chicken into big cubes.

Noodle Salad:
1/2 pound (225 g) linguine or thin rice noodles
1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
1 large red bell pepper, cored and seeded, cut into thin strips (I omitted this)
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, sliced (I omitted this)
1/4 cup (60 ml) sliced green onions
1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon (15 ml) chopped peanuts (optional garnish)
Lime wedges (optional)
Cilantro (optional)
Prepare noodles according to package instructions in salted water. Rinse and drain noodles. Set aside.
Slice basil into thin ribbons. Combine noodles, bell pepper, cucumber, onions, and basil in a large bowl. Add about ½ cup (120 ml) peanut dressing; toss gently to coat. Add more peanut dressing as desired, using as much or as little as you’d like. Scatter grilled chicken on top. Squeeze fresh lime juice over salad or serve with lime wedges. Sprinkle with chopped or cilantro if desired.

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