Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Birthday Peanut Sauce

I've just wasted the last half hour combing through my blog archives looking for my peanut sauce recipe. I can't believe I have never posted it. But apparently not. I know I promised to post this Sunday Night and I'm Very Sorry. I came home Sunday to recline lavishly on the couch and watch E open vast arrays of presents. She received many things I have always longed for. She already has An American Girl Doll from her last birthday so this year she needed a large cabinet to store all the clothes, plus new outfits. I could list everything but its making me tired thinking about where we're going to put it all.

So here's the Peanut Sauce (enough for 20, half adults, half children. If you want to serve less people half everything But, its worth making a big vat and freezing it in smaller containers because its So Delicious).

One jar creamy natural peanut butter (No Sugar added! No nothing added if possible). I use smuckers because that's what we can get.
2 large onions
2 cloves garlic
1 inch fresh ginger
grated or 1 tablespoon powdered ginger
6 to 8 fresh tomatoes or 1 large can chopped or crushed tomato (no seasoning added)
4 to 8 cups of stock, depending on how soupy you want it
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 packages chicken (I use thighs usually, or I buy a whole chicken and dismember it myself. You can cut the chicken very small if you're feeding a lot of people, or you can put in large pieces. I used to brown the chicken before I put it in, but lately I haven't taken the time, and honestly, I can't taste the difference.)
Optional: liberal squeeze of fresh lime at the end, liberal addition of cream

sweat the onions, garlic and ginger with oil or butter
add the peanut butter and coat the onion
add the tomato paste and fresh or canned tomato
let it all blend together. Season with salt and pepper (and red pepper if you're not feeding children). Add the chicken and stock. Bring it all to a boil and let it simmer until thick and glorious, re-seasoning as necessary. This time I ran out of stock and actually added some whole milk to make up the difference and it was almost my best batch ever. Basically you want it very liquid at first and let it simmer down, thickening as it goes. Obviously, if you reside in Africa and can get your hands on some Sumbala (sp?) that would be perfect, but I have no idea how you would do that in America.

If you're attempting to make this and something here is unclear please do comment or email. This is our favorite family food, all my kids eat it, but given that its 'foreign' you'd want to get it right or you might give up (which would be so sad). On Sunday most everyone was very skeptical but then I had about 1/2 a cup left over.


Karen said...

YUM! One of my faves. We eat it here where I work in Africa quite frequently, though I don't think they use fresh ginger here.

One thing that gets added here are yellow sweet potatoes, and I love the consistency and flavor they add to the sauce.

Ann, do you know if this would work in a crock pot? Have you ever tried it? I've been thinking of wanting to try a crock pot version of Mafe, but haven't gotten around to experimenting...

Anyway, thanks for sharing this version of peanut sauce. I look forward to trying it out.

Karen B.

Karen said...

oh, just noticed, you don't mention RICE? Did you eat this as a soup/stew as is, or did you serve over rice? I've always had this over rice, never on it's own.

Just wondering?

Anne Kennedy said...

I just posted about rice. Was completely distracted this morning. In Mali they add Cabbage to the sauce, which I Love but my husband is unnecessarily huffy about cabbage. I've added spinach (fresh, at the last minute, and let it wilt down, with a generous addition of lime) which is also delicious. I never have tried it in a crock pot, but that's a good idea. Maybe I'll give it a go in the fall. I don't know why it would work. I'll try it in a while and post my results.

Zana said...

What size jar of peanut butter? (We buy ours in the "vat-size" at Sams so I'm thinking something smaller would be more approrpiate?)

(I also made your apple muffin bread recipe for a church event, and it was a tasty, simply smashing success! Thank you for sharing!!)

Dr. Alice said...

This sounds delicious and I will be sure to try it! I personally love cabbage and will definitely add it (your husband doesn't know what he's missing). Also glad to hear it freezes well as I am big on cooking in large batches and freezing.

Anne Kennedy said...

I finally dug up a jar (my kitchen was that messy) and found it to be 16 ounces. When I make a smaller batch I use about half the jar, sometimes more. Best, if possible, not to skimp at all on the peanut butter. How much, if you don't mind, do you pay at Sam's for peanut butter?

Glad the Apple Muffin worked out. Thanks for the feed back. I'm still very unsure if I make sense when I write about food. I am very much an eye baller and its hard to remember exact measurements.

Rev Dr Mom said...

This sounds really really good; since I am a vegetarian I think I will try it with sweet potatoes and spinach, although cabbage sounds good, too.

Joyce Carlson said...

Well, this is ME writing, and I would like to add that when I made peanut sauce here in Kenya last month, it was for the Vice Chancellor of the seminary, and he raved and wished for more. He's from Sierra Leone, and knows a good West African peanut sauce when he sees one, UNLIKE so many Kenyans who are stuck on sukuma wiki and ugali. I have no quarrel with a good ugali, but sukuma wiki is so boring, Kikuyu-style anyway.
On the other hand, my roast chicken and pasta from Cucina Fresca, made last night for company, was a huge success and my guests had THIRDS.

Zana said...

Thanks! I'll be trying the birthday peanut sauce this weekend - and we're bring *quite* wicked as it really isn't anyone's birthday! ::grin::

Hmmm. I think we pay about $7.50 for two 40 oz jars of creamy Jif. (definitely vat-sized! haha!) Sams is great for dry and canned goods and also has excellent prices on meat, but it's only worthwhile if you have a place to store the bulk. And they usually don't have generic, only brand name products, so we price shop at the local store before we head to the warehouse. Still, I think we save a good 50% on our grocery bill when we do combined Sams/local shopping.