So I had lots of plans for this post. I was working on this homemade snickers bar recipe. A recipe that I was certain would make me a certified candy-making badass. Salty roasted peanuts, sweet sticky caramel, fluffy chocolate nougat — you know the drill. And then I learned that nougat is hard. Quite hard. Literally hard, mine was. I couldn’t even get a knife through it.
So that post will have to wait a while, because life is kicking me in the butt these days. Classes and dinner at The Pantry are selling (Yay!) and we FINALLY finished grinding the glue off of our concrete floor, a month-long project that was pushing my sanity level to its edge. Sheet-rock is going up as I type, which means cabinets, counters and tile are up next. SO! MUCH! FUN! But, all this fun, just doesn’t leave much time for the elaborate cooking experiments that I just adore (sniff).
So I’m here to share with you what I actually eat these days: salad. And lots of it. Tuesday was my birthday, and we had a potluck in the under-construction space, and John made my most favorite summer salad ever, a salad that pretty much defined 2010 for me: a cabbage peanut salad to be exact. I found the original recipe in the book Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes and have slightly tweaked it to my taste (less sugar, less acid, more heat).
Obviously you start with a lot of cabbage.
While this salad is light on technique, it is like salad crack for me. You toss the cabbage with carrots, cilantro (LOTS of cilantro) and bell peppers and then mix in a spicy peanut sauce that I have to stop myself from eating straight from the bowl with a spoon. So maybe being a busy bee is a good thing? No time for desserts means more munching on salads, just in time for bathing suit season… Oh yeah, and did I mention you throw peanuts all over the whole thing? I was such a hurry when I made this one that I forgot the peanuts before snapping a quick photo. I was literally throwing them onto people’s bowls as they walked out the door (it was a lunch break on a cabinet painting day, good times).
Cabbage Peanut Salad Recipe:
1/3 cup peanut oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3 TBSP soy sauce
1/3 cup peanut butter
2 TBSP brown sugar
2 TBSP grated peeled ginger
3 garlic cloves
1 finely minced jalapeno
– Mix all of the liquids in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, mix together the peanut butter, brown sugar, ginger, garlic cloves and jalapeno. Slowly drizzle in the liquids, whisking constantly to emulsify into a smooth sauce. If your sauce doesn’t look so good, a few hits of an immersion blender should sort it out.
1/2 head small green cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 head small red cabbage, thinly sliced
2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
2 large carrots, shredded on cheese grater
6 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup packed cilantro, roughly chopped
salt to taste
1/2 cups roasted peanuts
– Toss all of the salad ingredients together with the dressing. Taste for salt adjustment and dig in.