20 Aug Garlicky Peanut Butter
This morning, instead of going to the gym, I went to The Fumbally. I didn’t sleep very well last night, so when my alarm went off at 5:50, I had no hesitation in hitting the snooze button. I’ll run tomorrow I reasoned. By 8am, I was seated at The Fumbally, having ambled in just as they were opening. I ordered a coffee and some toast, and as the guy was walking away, I asked “Sorry. Do you have any peanut butter?” He said he wasn’t sure, and that he’d check. He came back and said they did. “But”, he said “There’s garlic in it”. “Um.. yeah that’s great, I’ll take some” I said and he looked at me for an extra few seconds, expecting me to immediately regret my decision. “We have jam”, he persuaded. “Ah naw, I’ll go with the peanut butter”, I said, and off he went. I pulled out my notebooks and pen, and heard the other guy at the counter say something along the lines of “…has chilli too ….check with her…” and my waiter say “Nah, man, it’s grand”.
A few minutes later, he arrived with my coffee, 2 slices of toast, and a little ramekin of peanut butter, flecked with red. I spent a glorious half hour in there over breakfast, and headed to work at 8.30, absolutely stinking of garlic.
The peanut butter was incredible. I posted a photo of it to My Instagram and a few heads got really excited about the sound of garlicky peanut butter. One friend asked me how it was made, and that’s when I started plotting an evening with my Vitamix, recreating this phenomenon of garlicky peanut butter. I didn’t know how they made it. But I was going to find out.
I started out by making garlic chilli oil. That was definitely what had been added to the plain peanut butter to make it so tasty. I took 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 crushed cloves of garlic, and 1/2 tablespoon of chilli flakes and added them to a pot. On the lowest heat, I warmed the oil for about 15mins, maybe 20, and let it stand for another 20. The garlic cloves had gone soft, and the oil had turned red from the chilli. I transferred it into my little oil bottle, and photographed this awesomeness that I had just created.
As regards the oil I chose, it’s been a while since I’ve used olive oil for anything other than salad dressing. I developed this fear of heating oils last year, and mainly use coconut oil in cooking at high heat, as it is much more stable. Olive oil is perfectly stable under 180c, so for this recipe I used it, making sure the oil never bubbled or looked like it was getting too hot.
With the oil made, I set about FINALLY making peanut butter in my Vitamix. I bought the Vitamix 18months ago, and had never gotten round to making nut butter. I mean, what on earth is a Vitamix for, if not for making top quality, smooth nut butters, that no other blender comes close to replicating. I put 200g of peanuts, and went to town on them.
With peanut butter in one dish, and garlicky chilli oil in another, it was time for the communion of foods into one Megafood. I added a total of 3tbsp of oil into the peanut butter, as well as a pinch of salt. The result is amazing. Like, properly amazing.
Now that I have a full little jar of garlicky peanut butter, I’ve to figure out what to do with it. Smearing it on top of crackers, or rustic bread, with a side of black coffee, is definitely the version I’m most excited about. But those flavours lend themselves to so many possibilities, particularly with coriander and lime, as in traditional Asian cuisine. I have ages to play around with it, as peanut butter lasts for a good few weeks if stored in the fridge.
Let me know if you’ve any suggestions, and if you try it, be sure to gimme a nudge to tell me what you think.