Sunday, May 31, 2015

Easy Asian Peanut Sauce #recipe @annieknoxauthor #giveaway

 LUCY BURDETTE: We are tickled pink to be hosting Annie Knox (aka Wendy Watson) on the blog today. Longtime visitors will recognize her as a former regular poster on Mystery Lovers Kitchen. We miss her good humor and her food and are thrilled to have her visit!

ANNIE KNOX: First things first: thank you to Lucy
 for hosting me on Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen.  It’s hands down my favorite blog, so it’s a real treat to be here

I’ve had a forty-five year love affair with peanut butter.  As a child, my lunch box favorite was the peanut butter sandwich.  Other kids crowed over ham, turkey, even egg salad.  But not me.  If I’d had my druthers, I would have had peanut butter every day.  Sometimes the sandwiches were peanut butter with jelly or jam, but other times I got peanut butter with banana, peanut butter with marshmallow fluff, or even peanut butter with white sugar (my mother didn’t stress out much about nutrition).

As I grew up, I started putting peanut butter on other stuff:  celery, apple slices, toast, bagels, saltines, graham crackers, chocolate bars.  I mixed peanut butter with chocolate or vanilla ice cream, and sometimes just ate it off the spoon.

Imagine my delight when I left my meat-and-potatoes Midwestern home and discovered that peanuts and peanut butter could form the basis for more complex and “adult” food.  One Thanksgiving, I spent the holiday with a bunch of fellow law students and we had a potluck.  One of my friends brought an African groundnut stew that combined sweet potatoes and cabbage in a rich gravy of tomato, ginger, cayenne, and peanut butter.  I confess, I was skeptical.  The combination sounded completely weird and the color was not particularly appetizing.  But my love of peanut butter won out and I gave it a try . . . and was amazed at the earthy deliciousness.

Then I moved to the big city (Minneapolis) and discovered that Asian cuisine was more than water chestnuts and La Choy crispy noodles.  Once again, I discovered that ground peanuts played an important role in some of my favorite dishes, like satay and the yummy dipping sauce that came with the summer rolls at my favorite Thai restaurant.

I was on a big stir fry kick when I discovered the recipe for this sauce.  Well, the original.  It’s been tweaked over the years to make it simpler and, to me, tastier.  This sauce would be great served over stir-fried chicken or tofu.  It would also make a good dipping sauce for satay or fresh rolls of some sort.  I personally toss the sauce with a package of cooked linguine and then top it with vegetables stir-fried with garlic and ginger.

Finally, a word of warning:  there is absolutely nothing authentic about this recipe.  Note that I used the generic “Asian” instead of “Thai” or “Chinese” or “Korean.”  That’s on purpose.  This is an Americanized mish-mash of Asian flavors.  But I wouldn’t be posting it if it wasn’t dang tasty.  And dang easy.  So I hope you enjoy.

Easy Asian Peanut Sauce

½ c. creamy peanut butter

1 tsp. sesame oil

2 Tbs. soy sauce

4 tsp. crushed or minced garlic

½ c. hot tap water

¼ c. chopped cilantro

3 Tbs. vinegar (rice, white wine, or apple cider)

2 tsp. sugar

½ tsp. crushed red pepper

Combine the peanut butter, sesame oil, soy sauce, and garlic in a medium bowl.  Whisk in hot water then whisk in remaining ingredients.  Allow sauce to stand at room temperature for an hour before tossing with pasta, adding to stir fry, or using as a dipping sauce.

About Annie …

Annie Knox doesn't commit--or solve--murders in her real life, but her passion for animals is 100% true. She's also a devotee of 80s music, Asian horror films, and reality TV. While Annie is a native Buckeye and has called a half dozen states "home," she and her husband now live in a crumbling historic house just a stone's throw from the courthouse square in a north Texas town.

About the Pet Boutique Mysteries …

Meet Izzy McHale, owner of Trendy Tails Pet Boutique in cozy Merryville, Minnesota.  She and her pets, Packer and Jinx, have a passion for fashion.  While her best friend Rena Hamilton makes organic pet treats for the business’s “barkery,” Izzy is designing canine couture and feline fashions for Merryville’s booming tourist trade.  Trouble has a knack for finding Izzy and her friends and family.  Fortunately, Izzy and her gang have a knack for tackling trouble head on, solving mysteries and keeping Trendy Tails’s doors open.  Follow Izzy’s adventures in Paws for Murder and Groomed for Murder.

In Collared for Murder, the third Pet Boutique Mystery, Merryville, Minnesota, plays host to a renowned cat show.  When the show’s wealthy patron is murdered and the grand prize collar dangle goes missing, Izzy and friends are on the case. Read more on Facebook or Annie's website.

ANNIE WILL BE GIVING AWAY THREE BOOKS TODAY, so be sure to leave a comment with your email to be entered in the drawing!