While it’s a member of the pumpkin family, Kabocha has a starchy texture closer to potatoes than squash. It’s loaded with vitamin A, C and beta-carotene and is sweeter than a potato, making it a tasty alternative to the humble spud.
Together with vibrant green edamame, this salad makes for a delicious side to a holiday meal with its medley of colors, textures and flavors. The earthy kabocha starts to melt into the nutty peanut butter as you stir it, making a rich creamy mash that coats the remaining chunks of pumpkin and edamame.
While many upscale grocery stores carry kabocha pumpkins this time of year, if you’re not able to find them, you can substitute butternut squash or sweet potatoes for the kabocha. Edamame can be found in the frozen food section of most grocery stores, but if you can’t find them, fresh chickpeas or fava beans make good alternatives.
While it may resemble a tuna salad sandwich, the tofu filling for this sandwich was inspired by a Japanese Buddhist dish called shira-ae. It’s a vegan dish that’s traditionally made with tofu, ground sesame seeds, and seasonal vegetables. While I love the classic preparation, it’s a versatile dish with few rules, so I decided to give it a makeover with Old Fashioned Crunchy peanut butter and flavors from the Mediterranean.
Tofu often gets a bad rap as boring, but it’s loaded with protein and isoflavones, and can actually help lower your cholesterol. Properly prepared, it’s also a delicious ingredient, regardless of whether you swing herbivore or carnivore.
This salad is a symphony of textures and flavors, with bits of crunchy peanuts and crispy celery, enveloped in a nutty mélange of tofu and peanut butter. Salty capers, spicy onions, and vibrant lemon zest all serve to accent the salad with both colors and flavors.
The keys to getting a rich creamy texture are to drain as much water out of the tofu as possible, and then to thoroughly mix the tofu together with the peanut butter and olive oil.
This decadent dessert is the love child of two southern favorites: a PB & Banana Sandwich and Banana Pudding. As if by magic, the rich homemade peanut butter pudding binds slices of pound cake and bananas together like a country-style tiramisu.
After a day in the fridge, all the elements meld together, with the cake absorbing moisture and flavor from the pudding, while the bananas become tender and ripe. Scooped into a bowl, it may look a mess, but with crunchy bits of peanut brittle on top it’s a heavenly dessert.
This peanut butter banana pudding is perfect for parties and cookouts because you can make it in one bowl and scoop it out at the table. Best of all, since it needs to be made a day in advance, it frees you up to enjoy dinner and dessert with your guests.
With tender moist strands of chicken covered in a nutty spicy sauce, this shredded chicken in peanut butter mole makes for the perfect filling for warm tender corn tortillas. Topped with some cilantro and crunchy honey roasted peanuts, it’s hard to think of a better combination.
While adding peanut butter to tacos may sound strange, adding seeds and nuts to mole is a common practice because it adds richness and depth to the sauce. By adding a dollop of The Heat Is On peanut butter at the very end, it not only adds some additional heat, it gives the sauce a rich creamy texture and earthy flavor that rounds out the chili pepper and tomato-based sauce.
Because chili peppers tend to vary in heat, if you find that your sauce is too spicy for your tastes, use Smooth Operator peanut butter instead of The Heat Is On when you blend the sauce together.
I like to use homemade corn tortillas for soft tacos. They’re not quite as much work as you might imagine, and you’ll be rewarded with tender, fluffy tortillas that put the tough crumbly disks found in stores to shame.
When it comes to cooking at home, I’m all about making food with a good taste to effort ratio. By that measure, this peanut butter cake probably has the best ratio out of anything that’s ever come out of my kitchen.
For roughly one minute of work, you’ll be rewarded with a rich tender cake, covered in a gooey peanut butter sauce that tastes like it could have come from the kitchen of a 3 Michelin star restaurant.
It’s a flourless cake, which means it’s gluten-free. Aside from making it Celiac friendly, this makes it easier to make because you don’t need to worry about over-mixing the batter. It’s also very flexible because you can adjust the texture of the cake by the amount of time you cook it. On the low end, you’ll end up with a tender molten cake covered in a rich sauce. Cook it a little longer, and you’ll have a moist fluffy cake that can be frosted.
You’ll probably need to experiment with the timing for your microwave the first time. I recommend setting the microwave for 1 minute for the first cake, then stopping it when it looks done. Once you have the timing down the rest of the mugs should be a piece of cake!
For some variation, try using flavored peanut butter like Mighty Maple, Cinnamon Raisin Swirl, or Dark Chocolate Dreams, but be sure to halve the amount of sugar since the peanut butter is sweetened.
I love potato salad. It makes for the perfect side dish, or snack, but can also end up turning into a meal all on its own. While it’s great in its traditional form, I’ve always thought that earthy potatoes and buttery peanuts go well together so I came up with this take on the classic. Nutty, sweet and with a range of textures from crunchy to crispy to creamy, this isn’t your grandma’s potato salad.
Although there’s no mayo in it, it has plenty of richness thanks to the olive oil and peanut butter. The celery and bits of peanut in the Crunch Time peanut butter add some great texture to the salad and the cranberries not only make the potato salad colorful, they add just a hint of sweetness.
So as you dust off the barbeque and get the picnic basket out of the attic this Memorial day, consider giving this nutty take on potato salad a try!
On busy weeknights, I rarely have the energy to spend a ton of time in the kitchen, and even less energy to do the dishes after cooking. That’s why I love one-pan meals like these peanut butter noodles.
With rice noodles, chunks of chicken, and tons of veggies, it’s a balanced meal all by itself. The combination of lime juice, sugar, and fish sauce gives this dish a Thai flair, while the Crunch Time peanut butter adds richness and texture from the big chunks of peanuts.
The best part of this dish is that you can make it with just about anything that’s in your fridge. Swap out the meat for some seafood or tofu and try adding different veggies. If you decide to switch out the noodles for something else (such as egg noodles or udon), make sure you boil them first according to the package directions.
In this Asian take on eggs benedict, I’ve replaced the hollandaise sauce with a tangy peanut butter sauce. Instead of poaching the eggs, I used an old Japanese technique of slow cooking the egg in the shell.
Originally made in natural onsen (hot springs), the eggs cook at a low temperature for a long time. This sets the eggs with a texture more like crème brûlée than boiled egg. You may not have a hot spring in your backyard, but you can still make these eggs by using a large pot filled with a lot of water, and carefully monitoring the temperature.
Baklava is a sweet that’s claimed by many countries around Central Asia and the Middle East, which means there are about as many variations as there are people who make it. Most versions share the phyllo dough, nuts and syrup in common and while it’s good with a cup of tea, it tends to be a little too sweet for my taste.
Through my travels, I’ve seen versions that use everything from walnuts to pistachios to sesame seeds, but I’ve never seen one made with peanuts. Given my love for peanut butter, I decided to give it a go, and you know what? It works!
The flaky layers of crispy buttery phyllo dough, crunchy peanuts and creamy white chocolate peanut butter, takes this humble dessert and elevates it from rustic to elegant. The combination of textures and flavors kind of reminds me of French praliné, and because this uses about two thirds less sugar than most recipes, it’s not overly sweet.
While phyllo dough might scare some of you that have never worked with it, it’s actually quite simple and this dish is especially fun to make, just make sure the dough doesn’t dry out while you’re working with it.
Living in a tiny New York city apartment with no outdoor space has taught me a few tricks. One of them was that it is possible to smoke things inside your house without setting off fire alarms (though your smoke detectors may go off).
It’s a relatively straightforward process that involves sealing some sugar, tea and rice in a pot along with some meat and getting it hot enough that the sugar starts to burn. This in turn causes the tea and rice to give off a wonderful aroma, which the meat absorbs like a sponge.
Paired with a honey peanut butter sauce, scallions and cucumber, the smoked duck makes for a great snack or first course to a meal, and most of the work can be done ahead of time.
While you should be able to find unfilled Chinese steamed buns in the freezer section of most Chinese grocery stores, if you’re not able to find them, this would also be good in brioche hamburger buns.
Elvis Presley was inducted in the U.S. Army on March 24. To help celebrate this milestone with Peanut Butter & Co., I came up with this version of the Elvis cupcake.
Elvis is famously known for his penchant for butter fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches. If you’ve never had one, it’s an alluring combination of buttery caramelized bread sandwiching a gooey melted layer of peanut butter and fresh bananas. The melding of crispy fried carbs with the sweet tropical banana and nutty peanut butter is a match made in heaven and it’s no wonder that it was one of the King’s favorite foods.
In this updated homage, I made a batch of moist banana cupcakes, which are topped with a satiny smooth peanut butter buttercream that’s rich and creamy but not too sweet. Like the sandwich they’re based on, the sweet banana cupcake and nutty frosting complement each other perfectly. But I couldn’t just stop there. If you remember the sandwich, it’s fried in butter…
I briefly contemplated doing something crazy, like battering and frying the whole cupcake, but the angel in my head (also known as my cardiologist) overruled the devil and I ended up with something that kept truer to the sandwich this cupcake was based on. I fried some large white bread crumbs in butter, then sprinkled the crispy, golden brown morsels over the buttercream for a crispy finish.
These chocolate peanut butter and strawberry crepes are the perfect way to start off a weekend. And it’ll make a delicious and romantic breakfast for someone special this coming Valentine’s Day. They’re sweet without being cloying while filling enough to keep you fueled for an adventure-packed day. I used strawberries for this batch, but these would also be delicious with kiwi, banana, or if you’re really feeling crazy, all three!
Don’t worry if your first couple of crepes don’t turn out quite right, as there should be enough batter for about 14 crepes. One of the keys to good crepes is temperature; you want the pan hot enough so that you get a nice brown color, but you don’t want it so hot that it doesn’t cook all the way though. It’s also important to get just enough batter in the pan to produce a round crepe without adding so much that you end up with a pancake.
Use a thick bottomed pan to ensure your crepe browns evenly and go a little crazy with the butter for your first crepe, which will prevent all the subsequent ones from sticking to the pan.
This creamy soup starts off life with the fragrant aroma of an Indian potato curry. With the help of a little extra stock and a generous helping of peanut butter, it’s transformed into a velvety potage that coats your tongue with a flood of umami.
For those of you looking at this skeptically, possibly even picturing a salty peanut butter sandwich, purge that image from your head. Like a cello in an orchestra, there’s enough peanut butter in here to add some wonderful body and richness complementing the smoky stock, but not enough to be called out as an individual component by all but the most refined palette.
Despite having layer upon layer of complex flavors, this soup is super easy to prepare and reheats well, making it a perfect first course when you’re having guests over.
I like a lot of heat in my food, so I added a jalapeno as well as the spicy The Heat is On peanut butter, but if you like things a little milder just omit the jalapeno and replace the spicy peanut butter with some Smooth Operator.
This sandwich takes a bit of time and love to make, but take one bite and your hard work will be rewarded by a perfect balance of colors, textures and flavors. Braised in hoisin sauce and soy sauce, the pork belly takes on a mahogany brown hue on the outside while absorbing the flavors of the sweet spices on the inside. The spicy peanut butter adds a nutty element along with some heat to the sandwich. The cucumbers add a cooling element while the cilantro lightens the pork […]
Peanut butter isn’t an ingredient you’d normally associate with Mexican food, but it works surprisingly well. So well, in fact that I’m now making this my go to enchilada recipe. The creamy peanut butter adds body to the red chili sauce while cutting through some of the acidity. It also gives it a subtle roasted nuttiness that reminded me of a good red mole sauce.
These enchiladas take a bit of time to make, but none of the steps are particularly complicated and the extra effort is well worth it. Six chili peppers may seem intimidating to some, but neither Ancho nor Guajillo chilies are especially spicy without the seeds, so most of the heat in this dish comes from the spicy peanut butter. Feel free to use Smooth Operator if you want them mild.