This all-purpose condiment is a great way to add a splash of Thai flavour to a salad or vegetable dish. The secret to its exotic flavour is its perfect balance of sweet, sour, salty and spicy.
Yield: Makes about 3 cups
2 cups smooth peanut butter
4 limes, zest and juice
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon chili flakes or hot sauce
a large bunch mint
a handful or two peanuts
Toss everything into your food processor or blender, then purée until almost smooth, leaving the peanuts a touch chunky. Some blenders are stronger than others; if yours needs a little help, add a splash of water to help it purée to a thick peanut butter consistency.
If you like the strong flavour of fresh cilantro, use it to replace some or all of the mint. For even more authentic Thai flavour, add a splash of Thai fish sauce.
Pesto is an intensely flavored condiment traditionally made from fresh green herbs, nuts, cheese and olive oil. It’s an incredibly easy way to add a big, bright boost of fresh flavor to nearly any dish. This version is less expensive than the classic Genovese blend of basil, pine nuts and Parmigiano-Reggiano, but with spicy arugula, peperoncini and almonds it’s just as flavorful. You can just as easily incorporate traditional fresh basil into the works if you like. Either way, you’ll discover that a little goes a long way.
If you’re a home cook you need a good meat sauce recipe up your sleeve. This is one of mine. Its secret is that I don’t brown the meat. That way it doesn’t toughen and need hours of braising to tenderize again. I also use a food processor to save a lot of knife work. Quick, easy and tasty!