Wednesday, December 28, 2005

You bought WHAT?

Last night I bought a 4 pound jar of peanut butter. Not odd really considering I have 6 kids. I don't think it's the healthiest thing on the planet, and I prefer all-natural for myself but, the kids love the stuff and it goes way beyond PB& J and PB Cookies in usefulness. Of course, we don't have any peanut allergies here so we're lucky in that respect.

I'll bore you with a standard PB cookie recipe down the line here but, for now, let's look at some different things about the all-American favorite goo.

Nutritionally speaking, peanut butter isn't so bad. Look at the stats:

2 Tablespoons of PB give you 13% of your daily requirement of protein, 8% of your needed fiber, 22% of vitamin E, 24% of niacin (way important for neurological health!), 7.5% of folate (pg women, this is VERY necessary to keep neural tube defects like spina bifida at bay!), plus a host of other nutrients~all in a tiny package. Good deal, I think.

There's peanut butter history here~please give it a read, it's quite interesting. It isn't all George Washington Carver either!

History and nutrition aside, my favorite part of any food are the recipes.

This first one is odd, yes, please don't balk though. I must admit, my initial reaction was just flat out "Ew!" and then I tried it, not as the recipe states but, I had a bowl of steaming tomato soup, I was pregnant so my taste horizons were limitless, and I dropped a spoonful of pb into the soup and was hooked. Campbell's is usually pretty on the mark even if they do make cream-of soups. Be adventurous.

This comes from "A Campbell Cookbook, Easy Ways to Delicious Meals" last revised in 1970.

Creamy Peanut Butter Soup

Printable Recipe

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed tomato soup
1/4 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
1 1/2 soup cans milk.

Stir soup into peanut butter, a little at a time, until well blended; add milk. Heat, but do not boil; stir occasionally. 3 to 4 servings.

In Africa peanuts are refered to as "groundnuts" and some of the best recipes I've seen come from that continent.

West African Chicken and Groundnut Stew

Printable Recipe

2 whole boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon peanut oil or oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 can whole tomatoes, (28-oz.) undrained, cut up
1 can Great Northern beans, (15.5-oz.) undrained
1 can corn, (11-oz.) drained
1 sweet potato, peeled, chopped
1/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon chili powder
3 cups hot cooked rice

Cut chicken breasts into 1/2-inch pieces. In 4-quart Dutch oven
over medium-high heat, cook chicken in oil until chicken is lightly
browned and no longer pink, stirring frequently. Add onion and
garlic; cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or unti l onion is tender.
Add remaining ingredients except rice; mix well. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook 30 minutes or until sweet
potat o is tender, stirring occasionally. If stew becomes too thick
add additional water. Serve stew over hot rice.

When I owned a small cafe in Allentown (for about 2 minutes) an older patron asked if I could serve peanut butter soup. I didn't have a recipe then but I quickly came up with one and he was more than satisfied.

Peanut Butter Soup

Printable Recipe

1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1 clove garlic, minced
3 T Butter
1 T Flour
1 c Peanut butter
4 c Chicken stock or vegetable stock
Salt, pepper
1 c heavy cream

Cook onion, celery and garlic in butter until soft in 2-quart saucepan.
Add flour and cook, stirring, until smooth. Stir in peanut butter, add chicken
broth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, over low
heat until thickened and smooth. Add cream and blend well.

Bangkok Beef
Printable Recipe

1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1/3 cup soy sauce
1-1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 pound boneless beef sirloin steak
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 large carrots, julienned
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
3 cups cooked rice

Combine peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, cilantro,
lemon juice, garlic powder, black pepper and red pepper
flakes in small bowl; set aside. Partially freeze steak;
slice across grain into 1/8 inch strips. Stir-fry beef in
oil in large skillet or wok over high heat 1 to 2 minutes.
Add carrots, onions, red pepper, and peanuts; cook 1 to 2
minutes. Add rice and peanut sauce; heat thoroughly. Serve warm.

Note: For Shrimp Bangkok, substitute 3/4 pound cooked and
de-veined shrimp for beef strips.

Baked Peanut Butter Chicken
Printable Recipe

1 chicken-2-3 lb-cut into pieces.
1/4 c flour
1 egg
1/3 c peanut butter
1 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1/3 c milk
1/2 c bread crumbs,dry
1/4 c peanut oil

Wash and dry chicken pieces-dip in flour. Blend egg
with peanut butter, salt, and pepper. Gradually add
milk, beaten with fork to blend. Dip floured chicken in
peanut butter mixture and then in crumbs. Place on oiled
baking pan. Drizzle remaining oil over chicken pieces
and bake 375'F 45 minutes or until tender.

Cold Sesame Noodles
Printable Recipe

4 T peanut butter
3 t warm water
2 t sesame oil
1 dash soy sauce
1/2 t sugar
1 dash Tobasco-to taste
3 c cooked spaghetti noodles

Cook spaghetti-drain and rinse with cold water
Mix peanut butter with water until creamy and light in
color. Add remaining ing. Pour over spaghetti. Toss well
to coat.


Cinda's Peanut Butter Cookies
Printable Recipe

1 c Peanut butter
1 c Sugar
1 Egg

Mix ingredients together-form into balls-flatten with
fork. Bake at 350 until edges are lightly browned.

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Peanut Butter Cookies
Printable Recipe

1/2 cup butter (don't use margarine - butter is best)
1/2 cup solid shortening (I use butter-flavored Crisco sticks)
1/2 cup peanut butter (I use creamy - but crunchy would be good too)
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 beaten egg
2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cream of tartar

Cream butter, shortening and peanut butter. Add sugar and beat until mixture
is fluffy. Blend in vanilla and egg until creamy. Combine remaining
ingredients and add to creamed mixture; blend well. Roll into 1-inch balls, roll the balls
in granulated sugar, and put them on a cookie sheet; then flatten with a fork.
Bake at 350° for 12 minutes.

Also check out:

National Peanut Board

Peanut Butter Lovers


KFarmer said...

my life is simply not happiness unless I have my butter every week-great recipes!

Anne Coleman said...

I get huge cravings for the stuff when I'm pregnant. I really love the all natural no sugar stuff too. Yum.

eyes_only4him said...

I dont like peanut butter..but what I am about to tell you is true..

my son, has some kind of eating disoreder..and the ONLY thing he eats are peanut butter sandwhiches..and when I say the ONLY thing he will eat..I am seroius..breakfast, lunch, dinner..I swear to GOD...he has been this way since he was a baby, it is very odd..

I may have to make myself some of them cookies now;)

CoolChic said...

I love peanut butter especially the extra smooth. I was turned off of peanut butter growing up because I opened a jar and there was some type of bug in it. My mother called the company, they swooped in, took the jar and nothing was ever done. She didn't even get her money back!!

Anne Coleman said...

Christina! What does your doc say?'t that cause uh...potty problems?

Well, enjoy the cookies at least lol

chic-ew-that is just FOUL and I can't believe the company didn't do anything! Wrong.

eyes_only4him said...

well the doctors have told me PB is the best thing to eat if he was going to pick one food..

he has been to theraspy..and specailty doctors..

he is tall, he is cute..he is healthy...and takes a regualr crap...ROFL...

Mamacita (The REAL one) said...

I've been buying that huge oversized can of peanut butter for years. I used to tell people (who almost always gasped when they saw it) that I needed that much peanut butter every week because of all the kids living in my house, but the kids have been gone for a few years now and I still buy that huge can. It's mostly my husband who devours it, but I confess that I do my share, too. Mostly in cooking, while he scoops crackers in it (our peanut butter is always crumby and I hate that) but anyway. Yes. I buy peanut butter by the gigantic crate, too.

Mise en Place said...

I LOVE your blog. You crack me up. Not only is it insanly informational, it's very funny. I must try the soup thing. lol

KFarmer said...

Hey Anne-

I saw this article on line and thought of you immediately- I know its kind of long, but what a wonderful idea!

Young Chefs at Work

You don't have to be an adult to whip up something delicious in the kitchen! At least that's what Sharon Gillis and her sister-in-law Amelia Gillis say.

They recently opened the Young Chef's Academy. Their attitude is learning to cook isn't that hard, and you can never start too young!

In this cooking class seven to fourteen year olds do more than just eat in the kitchen.

Sharon Gillis, Instructor
"They learn how to cook. They learn how to measure. They learn table etiquette. They learn how to do a place setting. They learn all sorts of things in cooking."

This is the third Young Chef's franchise in the country, with 40 more to open in the next year.

The hands-on experience is something the Gillis's want kids in Central Georgia to have.

Amelia Gillis, Instructor
"Well, cooking is a real life experience and something they will do as adults. So, the sooner they learn, the better."

In the colorful kitchen on Watson Boulevard nine children put on their aprons and prepare to make pasta from scratch! They are young and eager to learn, but some are amazed at how difficult a simple task mom does can be.

Amelia Gillis, Instructor
"A lot of children have some experience in the kitchen but allot of them do not know the correct way to crack an egg!"

Gillis advises never crack it on the side of the bowl because the bowl could move. She says crack it on the counter first.

Allie Barb saw just how much you have to pay attention.

Allie Barb, Student
"It's not really hard. It's kinda hard to open it."

For an hour and a half a week and $49 a month kids create, taste and collect recipes.

Haylay Conway, Student
"I take my recipes home and show them to my grandmother and grandfather and we make them and I like to experiment with all different kinds of things."

Kids are taught proper cleanliness to stop the spread of bacteria as well as safety with the stove. The students are encouraged to be the best helper to mom in the kitchen, but to leave the stove work to her.