New Year’s Day was quite special this year as we celebrated a milestone birthday for my husband with a small gathering of friends. Although small, it’s not in my make up to have a simple party, so from Wednesday onward last week I was planning, shopping, cleaning and preparing for the Sunday afternoon celebration. And what fun it was!
The party continues on as we still have fresh flowers in the dining room and on the mantle, helium-filled balloons on the ceiling and a few leftovers in the fridge.
The menu was planned using a number of favorite recipes from a few of my previous posts:
Soon I will share an amazingly moist and tasty gluten-free birthday cake recipe with you as well. Things were so busy I didn’t find the time to take any photographs, so I will prepare it once again with each of you in mind. The cake for Paul’s birthday included Meyer Lemons. As I’ve exhausted my supply, the next cake will be an equally yummy Orange and Almond Cake.
A Sauce for All Seasons
Today’s post features a gluten-free and vegan Spicy Peanut Sauce—truly a sauce that transcends the seasons. For the party I paired this sauce with lightly poached Tiger Shrimp. The week before on Christmas Eve it was the dipping sauce for some Vietnamese “Summer Rolls.” The week or so before that, Spicy Peanut Sauce was the dressing for a Broccoli and Soba Noodle Salad. In addition, throughout the year we enjoy this sauce as a boldly flavored and delicious topping for rice and quinoa or other grains, as a sauce for stir fries and steamed vegetables and as a very flavorsome dip for crisp lettuce leaves and all manner of crudités.
Peanut, Peanut Butter!
Made from both peanuts and peanut butter, fresh ginger and garlic, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sambal oelek, olive and toasted sesame oils, Spicy Peanut Sauce is an especially tasty way to add the protein, nutrients and health benefits of peanuts to the weekly diet.
Quickly and easily prepared, Spicy Peanut Sauce is a winner. You can adjust the spiciness to your taste by increasing or decreasing the amount of sambal oelek in the recipe.
Spicy Peanut Sauce
Yield: 2 cups
¼ cup salted, unsweetened peanut butter
¼ cup chopped, unsalted and roasted peanuts
1 tablespoon soy sauce
½ cup lite seasoned rice vinegar
3-6 teaspoons sambal oelek (Asian chili paste), or more to taste
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons peeled and coarsely chopped fresh ginger
4 medium garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup vegetable or chicken stock or water
Place all of the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Taste and adjust the spiciness and seasoning.
Spicy Peanut Sauce will keep a couple of weeks in the refrigerator and it will thicken a bit as it sits.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe without images