The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.
I have to say that I was really excited about the challenge this month. With three small boys in the house we eat ALOT of nut butters. And I tell you, as simple as nut butters are to make, it never crossed my mind to make my own. Once I did though, I was addicted! Yes, yes, it’s the simple things that give me the most pleasure. I just couldn’t get over watching the nuts go from hunk to chunk to smooth in a matter of a couple minutes.
We were on vacation the majority of this month’s challenge, so I didn’t get to experiment as much as I’d have liked, but you better believe I will be playing more with nut butters in the upcoming months. For this challenge I attempted the Asian Noodles and then did a bonus challenge of attempting to create my own Maple Walnut Cake using homemade walnut butter.
Thanks again to Margie and Natashya for putting together one of my favorite cook’s challenges yet! So are we ready to get nutty? Let’s do this! First up, the Asian Noodles recipe adapted from Cooking Light. Here’s what you’ll need:
1 Cup of Peanuts or Cashews
1/2 Inch Slice of Fresh Gnger, Chopped
8 Cloves of Garlic, Chopped
1/4 Cup of Soy Sauce
3 Tbsp of Sugar
3 Tbsp of Vinegar
3 Tbsp of Toasted Sesame Oil
1/4 Cup Plus 1 Tbsp of Water
Hot Sauce to Taste (optional)
1/2 Pd of Shrimp, Peeled and Deveined
1 Red Bell Pepper, Cored and Seeded, Cut into Thin Strips
1 Cucumber, Peeled and Sliced
1/4 Cup of Sliced Green Onions
1/4 Cup of Chopped Fresh Basil
Lime wedges for Serving
Second up, I completely forgot to add the peppers to this dish when I was cooking it. Instead, I decided to julienne a carrot and added that in to the mix. I’m not sure what came over me, a guess I went a bit nuts while working on this challenge (ok, you can now boo me for that incredibly poor attempt at humor).
Moving on. The first thing you’ll want to do is boil up your rice noodles according to package directions. While your rice noodles cooking, go ahead and make your cashew/peanut butter. To do this you’ll throw your cup of nuts into a food processor and simply process the bejebus out of them. Check out my progression:
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