Mark Overbay mixes his coarse, flavor-packed peanut butter into this fragrant Burmese-inspired dip.
Slideshow: Recipes with Peanuts
2 small lemongrass stalks, tender inner bulbs only, chopped
1 medium shallot, chopped
One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 small turmeric roots (about 2 inches), thinly sliced
1 dried guajillo chile, stemmed, seeded and torn
2 Thai chiles, stemmed and chopped
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
One 15-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
Assorted raw vegetables, for serving
How to Make It
In a food processor, combine the lemongrass, shallot, ginger, garlic, turmeric, guajillo, Thai chiles and 2 teaspoons of salt. Puree until a chunky paste forms; scrape down the side of the bowl as needed.
In a medium saucepan, heat the peanut oil until shimmering. Add the paste and cook over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until browned, 10 minutes. Add the sugar and cook, stirring, until melted, 3 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced, 10 minutes. Whisk in the peanut butter and cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened, 10 minutes. (The sauce may look broken.)
Remove the sauce from the heat and gradually whisk in the water until creamy and smooth. Season with salt and let cool completely. Garnish with the mint and serve with raw vegetables.
The peanut dipping sauce can be refrigerated for 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Versatile sparkling wine can go easily with any appetizer, from a cheese plate to crudités and dip. Try one from California.
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