I'm not ashamed to say it: I live in a town that caters to the 3AM drunk food scene. Compared to Rubinoff, food is an afterthought best paired with plastic forks. The pizza is overwhelmed by a deluge of microwaved toppings and the closest thing we have to steak frites is the McDonald's on Route 9. Good Mexican isn't terribly hard to find, but I can't say we've been holding our breath for edible Chinese or Indian restaurants in the area. Luckily, when the BBF package arrived earlier this week, I immediately knew what we'd be repurposing for our latest Fauxian cuisine.
Sunland makes eight different varieties of organic flavored peanut butter with the Valencia peanut, ranging from sweeter ones like cherry vanilla peanut butter to savory selections, like smoked chipotle. BBF sent over the most mouth-watering of the lot, Thai ginger and red chili pepper peanut butter, along with a few squeeze packs for the road. The peanut butters are all-natural and have to be mixed up. We decided to make this into a sauce for some cold peanut noodles and also test it out as a marinade for grilled chicken.
Out of the jar, the color scheme looks inspired by a mid-eighties Laine Bryant peacoat- camel-colored and slightly lumpy, but is inoffensive and smooths out after a vigorous mixing. It has a delightfully short ingredient list- peanuts, ginger, garlic, mustard, and red chili pepper flakes, and is scant on sugar unlike most smooth grocery store brands. If you're the type to eat peanut butter off the spoon and cry along with The Notebook, perhaps this isn't for you. It has a very muted sweetness supplemented only by the ginger, making it absolutely ideal for savory foods.
This soaked up delightfully into the chicken breast and made a wonderful crust on the outside. After searing it and getting it crispy, and then cutting it into chunks to fully cook, it was tender, moist, and very flavorful with little preparation at all. It was possibly some of the tastiest grilled chicken I've had in or out of a restaurant. While calorically, it isn't the best marinade, it provides a lot of protein and flavor with just a little bit.
For the noodles, we tossed roughly a quarter cup of peanut butter with a few tablespoons of ginger syrup, soy sauce, garlic sauce, and pepper, and it adhered well to the noodles, highlighting the natural flavor of the peanuts and providing a rather robust heat. A little went a long way here, although next time I'd tone down on the soy sauce to prevent it getting overly salted. This was a fantastic peanut butter in a great flavor and is definitely better than the commercial alternatives or the indigestable Chinese food around here. I'm looking forward to using this in bolder applications, like a Thai peanut butter and jelly or in some sort of savory cookie, or even in ice cream!
Labels: 10, dinner, hot, spicy