September 20, 2012 by Meg G.
I have a thing for peanut sauce. I could eat it with a spoon. We’ve experimented with making our own before and it was good – but this time around, I think we hit the jackpot! But let me back up for a minute.
The same lovely friend of ours who gifted us with all those tomatoes also gave us a bunch of eggplant from her garden.
We came home with two of those beautiful whitish, purplish ones (they look like they are white with purple “tan lines”) – I think they’re called Rosa Bianca – and three of the long skinny dark purple ones – which are usually called Chinese eggplant.
Since we already made tomato soup and pizza this week, I thought an Asian dish might be a nice way to switch things up. Naturally, I immediately thought of peanut sauce. After thumbing through some of our cookbooks and searching the internets, I decided to go with my own take on this recipe from Jackie’s Kitchen via Visual Cookbook.
Here we go!
For the sauce:
Put the following in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat, stir, and heat gently.
- about 3/4 cup peanut butter (we’re slightly obsessed with Teddie brand all-natural, smooth)
- 1 heaping Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp Tamari
- 1 large clove garlic, minced or pressed
- chipotle powder to taste
- milk to thin it out (we used almond milk cause that’s what we have in the house)
- juice of one lime (we didn’t actually have a lime, so I added a bit of lemon juice; lime would have been better)
Taste and adjust flavors as necessary. It should be a good balance of salty+sweet, acid+richness. Keep the sauce warm on the stovetop as you cook the stir fry.
For the stir fry:
Chop up the following and throw it in a large pan on medium-high heat with olive oil:
- 3 eggplant(s?)
- half an onion
- 1 large clove of garlic
- Chipotle powder
- salt + pepper
- Penzeys Maharaja curry powder (this stuff smells & tastes amazing, has about 14 different spices in it, and really pulled the dish together)
Because I hate the way that steamed broccoli smells (weird, I know), I opted to pan fry some frozen broccoli separately. I just sprayed a non-stick pan with a bit of Pam and let it go. You could also steam it in the micro or on the stovetop or just throw it in with everything else. I wanted a bit of crunch to this otherwise slightly textureless dish, so I opted to cook it just long enough to heat it through.
I also forgot to pick up the tofu, so my dearest Heather ran to the store (literally – she stopped on her way home from a run) to pick it up. So, that got panfried separately as well, with some olive oil, curry powder, and Tamari. I would recommend cooking up the tofu separately if you want it to get crispy. If you don’t mind it a bit less crispy, you could probably add it along with everything else.
Once everything is finished cooking, just pour the peanut sauce into the skillet and stir until everything is well coated. Serve over rice or noodles or by itself. The flavors are warm and rich with just a bit of heat. This is definitely one of my new favorites and the vegetable combination possibilities are endless.
If it sounds like this took a long time and involved a lot of steps, it really didn’t. I started cooking as Heather left for her run and everything was ready to go by the time she got back about 35 minutes later.