Monday, July 5, 2010

Spinach and Thai Peanut Sauce

"If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something." -Steven Wright

"It is a rule of nature that taking a day off on a farm sets a person back at least a week." -Jane Hamilton

Returning from a few days off from the farm, garden and home cooking, I'm pondering these truths. Freezing spinach (I should have had this done a week ago), and weeding in the garden (which is never really done) are my first tasks to tackle in a somewhat futile attempt to reestablish the tenuous feeling of being on top of things here.

Freezing chopped spinach in ice cube trays like this, makes individual portions to defrost and use in winter. To freeze, plunge washed spinach into boiling water then return water to a boil. Immediately drain and place in cold water. Drain and put in cold water again. Squeeze dry, chop and fit into ice cube tray. Place in freezer overnight then remove cubes from tray to store in labeled freezer bags. Remind teens to eat it. Some of their favorite ways to use frozen spinach are in soups, as a filling for omelets or crepes -and with rice and Thai peanut sauce. I like to keep frozen portions of this peanut sauce and spinach on hand in the freezer.

Thai Peanut Sauce
2 T. vegetable oil or 2 t. chili oil
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 c. water
14 oz. can lite coconut milk
1 c. smooth PB
2 T. brown sugar
1/2 t. salt
juice of one lime (or lemon juice)
2 Thai chilies, finely chopped (optional, if using chili oil and you don't want it really spicy)

Bring to a simmer. Cook 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently. This sauce can be frozen in 1/2 c. quantities and then defrosted for a quick meal of peanut sauce, spinach and rice or soba noodles.

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