I should title this post, “the cursed food processors,” but then you wouldn’t get to know what I was making! This month’s Daring Cook’s challenge was to make a nut butter and use it in a dish. Well, nut butters mean one needs a food processor. I thought this would be a great challenge to do at home in the US visiting my parents (if I’m visiting can I still call it home?), because I knew that they would enjoy the flavors I was thinking of for this month’s dish.
Well, I get there and find that my parents’ puppy had decided that the cord of the food processor looked appetizing, and bit the cord right off of the machine! It’s quite hard to run a food processor if you have no way of plugging it into anything. Ok, so no homemade nut butters this time. Instead, I went to my nearest health store corporate giant and picked up some cashew butter. Why cashews? Well, everyone in my family loves them, and peanut butter is boring
This week I had thought about making my own cashew butter now that I am back en Suisse, but again with the cursed food processors! There was a mighty wind event the other day, and silly us left our windows open in our apt. all day. We’d gotten into the habit of this because it’s been so freaking hot lately – and trust me, you learn a totally different definition of hot when there is no A/C to be found, especially when your office faces the afternoon sun. I melt into a sweaty sticky puddle on a regular basis. It wasn’t until we left work that I thought things could be a problem. After all, tree branches don’t normally float. We got home to find so much stuff all over the floor of our apt., including the food processor!! The lid is cracked and in pieces. gahhhhh! Well, there goes making any nut butters this month. At least the wind kept our stuff inside the apt., I half expected to find our life’s belongings strewn out all over the street below.
So jarred cashew butter it is for this month. I’m ok with this, it was organic and quite tasty. As long as your’e also ok with my store-bought nut butter, onto the challenge!
The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.
The challenge part of this was actually in the creativity of using the nut butters. Grinding nuts in a food processor is not a particularly difficult task (as long as you have a working food processor at your disposal), but coming up with a non-dessert dish using them can be. I decided to do a play off of the spicy peanut dipping sauce I had made a few months ago to go with spring rolls, and made a variation using cashew butter instead.
My dad offered to grill the kabobs, on which we put onions, pineapple, bell peppers, and chicken. We then topped the kabobs with sauce and garnished with some scallions. I chose to add in cucumbers after having a very tasty peanut/cucumber sauce at a friend’s house last month. We were treated to a multi-course authentic Thai dinner, and that dipping sauce was easily one of my favorite parts of the meal.
I enjoyed mine with some rice on the side and a cold micro-brew American beer that my dad had picked out. Since moving to Suisse I haven’t had much beer to drink, mainly wine (which is not a bad thing, especially some of the lovely Suisse rosés lately!) – so it was a nice treat to enjoy one with my parents. I also really enjoyed wandering around their yard playing with my macro lens and photographing all of the gorgeous lilies they have blooming!
Overall it great way to spend 4th of July weekend – relaxing, enjoying the summer sun, getting to see family and work in a Daring Cook’s challenge all at the same time!
Ingredients (note this makes a LOT):
1 cup cashew butter
8 tbs. sesame oil
3/4 cup sweet chile sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 cup soy sauce or gluten free tamari
1 cucumber, peeled then diced
1. Whisk all ingredients but the cucumbers together until you get a uniform sauce.
2. Stir in diced cucumber pieces.
3. Top on grilled kabobs or whatever else suits your fancy. Enjoy!