My all time favorite Thai dish is Pad Thai and the absolute best can be found at Sophia’s in little old Davis, California. I have a thing for the sweet and savory juxtaposition and food textures, which makes peanut sauce with crushed peanuts a deadly combination for any food-related self-control. Couple that with bottomless Thai Iced Tea and you have made it to tastebud ecstasy plus an extreme case of fond reminiscing about my college years at UC Davis.
I have not tried making Pad Thai myself but am in love with the idea of a peanut buttery thai curry, as you now know why, so was very excited when I came across a recipe for Peanut Butter Chicken with Curried Spinach in my new Zhoozsh cookbook. The Zhoozsh! cookbooks are written by Jeremy and Jacqui Mansfield, who are famous for their easy to make, delicious, and down to earth recipes, which are presented in an intimate story-like photo journal fashion full of memories, humor, and love.
I saw their second cookbook “Faking it” at the bookstore a few months before Christmas and immediately was endeared by its unique style and laid back guidance on how to cook a diverse range of dishes from South Africa and beyond. I was also immediately sold on the idea of “faking” gourmet and cooking on a budget, as I am still a young professional/student who cannot afford to always buy fancy ingredients. However, the more I cook, the more I realize that you do not need fancy ingredients to cook an awesome meal anyways! I then made it my goal to not so discretely beg Ty to get me “Faking it” for Christmas, which landed me a copy of my own from Ty’s grandma so that I would not have to go to the bookstore and surreptitiously take photos of the recipes using my iphone.
For my first Zhoozsh recipe experience, we made lamb rubbed with a fresh mint and coriander pesto for Christmas and accidentally burnt the lamb to the point that all the fresh the flavors dissipated but the lamb was still awesome. However, the pesto looked, smelled, and tasted really great on its own so I will definitely try it again! For my second attempt at making a Zhoozsh recipe, I successfully made Peanut Butter Chicken with Curried Spinach, which was quick, easy, tasty, and just absolutely lovely!
Zhoozsh Peanut Butter Thai Chicken
Ingredients (serves 2 + leftovers)
- 1 chopped onion
- 1 heaped tsp garlic
- 2-3 chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbs oil
- 4 pieces of boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-size cubes
- 2 heaped tsp curry powder
- 11/2 tsp salt
- 1 packet chopped english spinach
- 3 tbs crunchy peanut butter
- 1 tbl sugar
- 1 cup coconut milk
- spaghetti or thai noodles
- a handful of crushed peanuts
- saute the onions and garlic in oil and stir in the tomatoes
- add the chicken, curry, and salt and saute until browned
- add the spinach and cook until wilted
- meanwhile, cook your pasta
- stir in the peanut butter, coconut milk, and sugar; let simmer and thicken while stirring continuously
- mix the pasta and sauce together
- garnish with crushed peanuts