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Peanut Butter + Coconut Milk = Curry Deliciousness

All you really need is a pumpkin beer to accompany this perfect fall (or winter? or spring?) dish. It was largely an experiment, and although I cringe at Sandra Lee's semi-homemade/mostly store-bought recipes (and that she spends half her time on each episode creating the "perfect tablescape" when, who really has the time, Sandra.), I really liked this one. What I learned while making this dish, is that no matter what you do to flavor tofu, even when you're deep-frying it in lots of tasty spices, the only thing that really flavors it is the curry / external sauce. And a lot of salt.

Anyway. The recipe! It involves two of my favorite things - (1 can) coconut milk and (1/3 cup, creamy/salted) peanut butter.

You can use any veggies for this dish, as long as they are cut to about the same size so they cook evenly, although I added the heartier ones first, to give them some time in the pan. I stir-fried the following vegetables in about 2 tsp olive oil on medium heat for 4-5 minutes: pre-roasted butternut squash (pre-baked in the oven, drizzled with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper), along with raw broccoli, carrots, and onions. Potatoes would fit in nicely, as would chickpeas. In the last minute, add some fried tofu (I chopped, dried, and fried in canola oil, a half-box of tofu a few hours before making this dish) and mix everything together with a dash of salt.

While the veggies cook, it's sauce-making time. Pour the coconut milk & peanut butter into a shallow bowl, and add some (2 tsp) sugar, a dash of cayenne pepper and turmeric, a few shakes of salt and cumin, and some water (could sub veggie broth). Finally, whisk it all together for a rich, sweet/spicy/salty sauce. Shredded ginger would taste good in there too.

Add the sauce to the pan; when it starts to bubble, throw in a chopped green chili, stir it around, and finish the curry with chopped fresh cilantro and sage. On top of brown rice, this is the perfect meal for a chilly night, and one to make again.


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