Saturday, August 6, 2011

Peanut Butter With a Side of Peanut Butter

Based on my shopping, I had to make two significant substitutions. First of all, I couldn't find instant white rice (... no, really), so I went for brown rice instead. Second of all, the pie called for a chocolate cookie crust. Not only couldn't I find one, I couldn't even find anything other than standard pie dough. Rather than risk making my own, I decided to use a regular crust, since the filling is supposed to be the star. Be advised! I used a deep dish pie crust, and anything else would have turned into peanut butter overflow.

And the filling was where I started. It required whipping two separate sets of ingredients at speeds and for lengths of time which would have caused my arm to run off and join a rebellion, and I only have one stand mixer, so I ended up running it once, emptying it into another bowl, and then reusing it. One moment of duhism: I put the shaved chocolate on the top of the stove while the pie crust was baking, so I had to shave some additional to replace the stuff that melted and was spontaneously consumed.

After the peanut butter pie made its graceful exit into the fridge, I prepared the chicken for marinade. I realized at a closer inspection of this recipe that it may have been intended for a ceramic pot rather than a standard slow cooker, so take the rest of this with a few grains of seasoning ...

After that, chocolate sauce in a saucepan - thick, rich and obscenely good. It will be applied liberally to every piece of pie.

Final verdict (peanut pie): Wow ... so incredibly rich, sweet and good. The chocolate sauce is perfect. I hardly even missed having the chocolate crust. If anything, it might almost be gilding the lily. Highly recommended.

This is actually the first time I've chopped and cooked tomatoes. (Oh, stop laughing.) I was very pleased by how they ended up after the slow cooker. I boiled the chicken stock and it boiled over, so I added a bit more to the pot before mixing it in with the peanut butter.

As a sidebar, since this is Caribbean peanut chicken, I did spring for peanut oil. I also figured that it would be better in future Indian dishes than olive oil.

This is the first time I got to exercise my mandolin, and I loved it. A pound and a half worth of potatoes turned into thin, delectable slices of goodness. I squinted a bit at the amount of cheese prescribed for the recipe: not nearly enough, to my way of thinking. I used primarily sharp cheddar with some peccorino romano.

And then ... like that ... I was able to kick back, relax, and wait for everything to finish cooking.

Final verdict (chicken): This was good, but too watery and not flavorful enough for me. I wouldn't bother with it again - it takes a lot of time with a number of interim steps.

Final verdict (truffade): Another decent recipe, but not amazing. A bit crunchy, a bit gooey, but no flavors that popped and not enough cheese by a landslide. (I would have preferred a landslide - of cheese, that is.) I am holding out for higher standards with my potatoes.

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