Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Nuts about an algarvian satay

I am a glutton for peanut butter,but have never thought of making my own. - See more at: http://www.marmadukescarlet.blogspot.pt/2014/09/homemade-peanut-butter.html#more

I am a glutton for peanut butter, but had never thought about making my own until Rachel Kelly aka Marmaduke Scarlet showed me how easy it was. I made it and have never looked back. I am now on my third batch.Tried and tested, it is just as she says, infinitely superior to the shop-bought varieties and can be made in a matter of minutes,well 3 to be precise.I was on a roll and there was no stopping me now.


Home made peanut butter reminded me of a scrumptious Nigel Slater Chicken satay sandwich I used to make back in the day.Could I re-work this idea for our tasting menu? Yes I could. Chicken satay skewers (above top). It was only when we piloted the idea on a tasting menu for friends that it occured to the thespian that this was not very Portuguese, and our tasting menu should really be a showcase for modern Portuguese and Spanish food.Would it be possible to put an Algarvian twist on something essentially Asian?  By replacing the peanuts with almonds we would have an have an almond satay, maybe served with Iberican Porco preto.It was all starting to make sense.
Now my work was cut out.I would have to make home made almond butter.If I´d churned out successful peanut butter I figured I could churn out an almond version. Patience would be a virtue  and I’m not a very patient person, which probably explains why I haven’t made my own almond butter up until now.Are you patient? Because trust me you’ll need it if you want to make your own homemade almond butter.
Patience, almonds, and a food processor. That’s all it takes.But first a word of warning and a couple of tips.Peanuts and other softer nuts like cashews and macadamias turn to butter easily and very quickly.Not so almonds.They take much longer to release their natural oil and start breaking down.Make sure your food processor is powerful enough for the job.I thought mine was but when I smelt burning, the warning lights were telling me the motor was overheating and about to give up the ghost.It did and I had to give up and call on the help of a second processor.
Depending on the size of your food processor, you can grind up to 4 cups of almonds at a time. I recommend sticking to about 2 cups, to make the process move a little faster.You can use raw or roasted almonds. Raw almonds take a little longer, and freshly roasted almonds break down into nut butter faster, if added to the food processor while still warm. (You can dry-roast your own almonds for 10-12 minutes at 350F).




Home made peanut butter
500g raw peanuts (ready roasted in their shells )
peanut or ground nut oil
2tsp Flor de sal
1 tbsp honey (optional)

Split open the peanuts and discard the shells ( this is a lengthy process and should be saved for time in front of the TV when the particular programme does not require full concentration
Place your nuts in a food processor( ouch!!!) add the Flor de sal and process in short bursts.
for the first 10 to 20 seconds or so your nuts will look like ordinary ground nuts.Persevere.
After another 20 seconds or so, some of the natural oil is released from the nuts.The finely ground nuts will start to stick to the side of the food processor as well as clump together.At this point you will need to switch off the processor and scrape down the sides.
After 90 seconds you should get something that looks like a clump of nut paste.You still need to keep going.After 3 minutes the mixture will start to take on an oily gloss ,like peanut butter should. It will still be very thick,so add some ground nut or peanut oil to loosen the mixture.It will then become smooth and creamy.

Home made almond butter
A creamy almond butter that's more affordable than the store-bought versions!
Not only is homemade almond butter cheaper than commercial brands, it also gives you greater control over the quality of almonds you’re eating.

2 cups almonds

tip the almonds into the bowl of your food processor, fitted with an “S” blade.
Snap on the lid, get the food processor running, and let it do all the work!
Be prepared, the food processor will be running for a while. You’ll notice that the ground almonds will start to collect around the edges of the bowl, so be sure to stop and scrape down the sides every few minutes, just to keep everything blending evenly.
Depending on the amount of almonds you use, and the size of your food processor, you’ll notice a change starting to happen after about 10-15 minutes.
As the oils are released from the almonds, they’ll start to stick together and form a large mass that moves around the bowl. You’ll also notice that the almond butter is getting rather warm.
After about 20 minutes of consistent processing you think you’re never going to end up with almond butter– then it all suddenly starts to come together.
You’ll finally have a grainy-looking almond butter.
Don’t worry, you’re almost there!
After a couple more minutes of processing, your almond butter will become smooth and creamy.
Transfer the almond butter to a sealed glass jar, and store in the fridge for best shelf life.

SATAY
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
2 cloves of garlic,peeled and crushed
a small thumb of ginger peeled and grated
1 stem of lemongrass, tender part only, shredded
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 small hot piri piri chillies,seeded if you wish ,finely chopped
1 teaspoon good quality curry powder
150g peanut or almond butter
3 heaped tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
teaspoon sugar
Soften and very lightly brown the chopped shallot,garlic,ginger and lemongrass in the oil over a moderate heat.Stir in the chillies and curry powder and continue cooking for acouple of minutes.Add the nut butter and 250ml water and bring to the boil.Season with coriander and sugar to taste.serve as a dipping sauce for Iberican pork skewers or chicken. Alternatively toss some grilled chicken strips in the sauce and with a few salad leaves put in a floury bap to make the sandwich above.


SOME EXTRA TIPS WHEN MAKING NUT BUTTER
Feel free to add salt or spices, to your own personal taste. 
Don’t use soaked almonds (without thoroughly drying), or add liquid, for longest shelf life. It might be tempting to add something like vanilla extract, but added moisture will reduce the shelf life greatly.

All you really need are peanuts and a good food processor or spice grinder. Of course there are a few things that you can add to your nut butter, so think of this as less of a recipe and more of a series of suggestions.

I have to say that the homemade version is infinitely superior in flavour to shop-bought peanut butter, and can be made in just a matter of minutes. It will store well in the fridge too.

ingredients:
500g raw peanuts
vegetable oil (optional)
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp runny honey (optional)

directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4.
  2. Lay the nuts out evenly on a lined baking tray.
  3. Heat in the oven for 10 minutes, shaking the tray after 5 minutes. After 10 minutes the nuts should be lightly toasted, although they may take longer. However, if it looks as if they are cooking more quickly, then take them out of the oven. You really don't want burned nuts! Transfer to a plate and leave to cool.
  4. Place your nuts in a food processor and process in short bursts. 
  5. For the first 10 to 20 seconds or so, your nuts will just look like ordinary ground nuts. You need to persevere.
  6. After another 20 seconds or so, some of the natural oil within the nuts is released. The finely ground nuts will start to stick to the side of the food processor as well as clump together. You'll need to switch off the processor and scrape down the sides.
  7. After 90 seconds you should get something that looked like a clump of nut paste. But you still need to keep on going.
  8. After 180 seconds (yup 2 and a half minutes) the mixture begins to look shiny, like peanut butter should. It was still very thick, so I added 4 teaspoons of safflower oil to loosen the mixture. It was now smooth and creamy.
  9. Since I had used raw peanuts, I added 2 teaspoons of salt as well as 1 tablespoon of runny honey to the mixture.
  10. The peanut butter will store well in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3 weeks to 1 month.

tips:

  • If you prefer a chunkier texture, then add another 100g of whole peanuts to smooth butter and give a quick whizz.
  • I sweetened my butter with honey, but you could use a little brown sugar or maple syrup.
  • I actually prefer almond or cashew nut butter to peanut butter. Many nuts and seeds can be ground into a paste, so it is worth experimenting.
  • Don't bother removing the peanut skins, as they just add a little more colour to the finished butter.
- See more at: http://www.marmadukescarlet.blogspot.pt/2014/09/homemade-peanut-butter.html#more

I have to say that the homemade version is infinitely superior in flavour to shop-bought peanut butter, and can be made in just a matter of minutes. It will store well in the fridge too.

ingredients:
500g raw peanuts
vegetable oil (optional)
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp runny honey (optional)

directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4.
  2. Lay the nuts out evenly on a lined baking tray.
  3. Heat in the oven for 10 minutes, shaking the tray after 5 minutes. After 10 minutes the nuts should be lightly toasted, although they may take longer. However, if it looks as if they are cooking more quickly, then take them out of the oven. You really don't want burned nuts! Transfer to a plate and leave to cool.
  4. Place your nuts in a food processor and process in short bursts. 
  5. For the first 10 to 20 seconds or so, your nuts will just look like ordinary ground nuts. You need to persevere.
  6. After another 20 seconds or so, some of the natural oil within the nuts is released. The finely ground nuts will start to stick to the side of the food processor as well as clump together. You'll need to switch off the processor and scrape down the sides.
  7. After 90 seconds you should get something that looked like a clump of nut paste. But you still need to keep on going.
  8. After 180 seconds (yup 2 and a half minutes) the mixture begins to look shiny, like peanut butter should. It was still very thick, so I added 4 teaspoons of safflower oil to loosen the mixture. It was now smooth and creamy.
  9. Since I had used raw peanuts, I added 2 teaspoons of salt as well as 1 tablespoon of runny honey to the mixture.
  10. The peanut butter will store well in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3 weeks to 1 month.

tips:

  • If you prefer a chunkier texture, then add another 100g of whole peanuts to smooth butter and give a quick whizz.
  • I sweetened my butter with honey, but you could use a little brown sugar or maple syrup.
  • I actually prefer almond or cashew nut butter to peanut butter. Many nuts and seeds can be ground into a paste, so it is worth experimenting.
  • Don't bother removing the peanut skins, as they just add a little more colour to the finished butter.
- See more at: http://www.marmadukescarlet.blogspot.pt/2014/09/homemade-peanut-butter.html#more

All you really need are peanuts and a good food processor or spice grinder. Of course there are a few things that you can add to your nut butter, so think of this as less of a recipe and more of a series of suggestions.

I have to say that the homemade version is infinitely superior in flavour to shop-bought peanut butter, and can be made in just a matter of minutes. It will store well in the fridge too.

ingredients:
500g raw peanuts
vegetable oil (optional)
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp runny honey (optional)

directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4.
  2. Lay the nuts out evenly on a lined baking tray.
  3. Heat in the oven for 10 minutes, shaking the tray after 5 minutes. After 10 minutes the nuts should be lightly toasted, although they may take longer. However, if it looks as if they are cooking more quickly, then take them out of the oven. You really don't want burned nuts! Transfer to a plate and leave to cool.
  4. Place your nuts in a food processor and process in short bursts. 
  5. For the first 10 to 20 seconds or so, your nuts will just look like ordinary ground nuts. You need to persevere.
  6. After another 20 seconds or so, some of the natural oil within the nuts is released. The finely ground nuts will start to stick to the side of the food processor as well as clump together. You'll need to switch off the processor and scrape down the sides.
  7. After 90 seconds you should get something that looked like a clump of nut paste. But you still need to keep on going.
  8. After 180 seconds (yup 2 and a half minutes) the mixture begins to look shiny, like peanut butter should. It was still very thick, so I added 4 teaspoons of safflower oil to loosen the mixture. It was now smooth and creamy.
  9. Since I had used raw peanuts, I added 2 teaspoons of salt as well as 1 tablespoon of runny honey to the mixture.
  10. The peanut butter will store well in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3 weeks to 1 month.

tips:

  • If you prefer a chunkier texture, then add another 100g of whole peanuts to smooth butter and give a quick whizz.
  • I sweetened my butter with honey, but you could use a little brown sugar or maple syrup.
  • I actually prefer almond or cashew nut butter to peanut butter. Many nuts and seeds can be ground into a paste, so it is worth experimenting.
  • Don't bother removing the peanut skins, as they just add a little more colour to the finished butter.
- See more at: http://www.marmadukescarlet.blogspot.pt/2014/09/homemade-peanut-butter.html#more



All you really need are peanuts and a good food processor or spice grinder. Of course there are a few things that you can add to your nut butter, so think of this as less of a recipe and more of a series of suggestions.

I have to say that the homemade version is infinitely superior in flavour to shop-bought peanut butter, and can be made in just a matter of minutes. It will store well in the fridge too.

ingredients:
500g raw peanuts
vegetable oil (optional)
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp runny honey (optional)

directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4.
  2. Lay the nuts out evenly on a lined baking tray.
  3. Heat in the oven for 10 minutes, shaking the tray after 5 minutes. After 10 minutes the nuts should be lightly toasted, although they may take longer. However, if it looks as if they are cooking more quickly, then take them out of the oven. You really don't want burned nuts! Transfer to a plate and leave to cool.
  4. Place your nuts in a food processor and process in short bursts. 
  5. For the first 10 to 20 seconds or so, your nuts will just look like ordinary ground nuts. You need to persevere.
  6. After another 20 seconds or so, some of the natural oil within the nuts is released. The finely ground nuts will start to stick to the side of the food processor as well as clump together. You'll need to switch off the processor and scrape down the sides.
  7. After 90 seconds you should get something that looked like a clump of nut paste. But you still need to keep on going.
  8. After 180 seconds (yup 2 and a half minutes) the mixture begins to look shiny, like peanut butter should. It was still very thick, so I added 4 teaspoons of safflower oil to loosen the mixture. It was now smooth and creamy.
  9. Since I had used raw peanuts, I added 2 teaspoons of salt as well as 1 tablespoon of runny honey to the mixture.
  10. The peanut butter will store well in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3 weeks to 1 month.

tips:

  • If you prefer a chunkier texture, then add another 100g of whole peanuts to smooth butter and give a quick whizz.
  • I sweetened my butter with honey, but you could use a little brown sugar or maple syrup.
  • I actually prefer almond or cashew nut butter to peanut butter. Many nuts and seeds can be ground into a paste, so it is worth experimenting.
  • Don't bother removing the peanut skins, as they just add a little more colour to the finished butter.
- See more at: http://www.marmadukescarlet.blogspot.pt/2014/09/homemade-peanut-butter.html#more

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