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Curried Coconut Peanut Sauce [vegan]

Monday, April 17, 2017

Recipe adapated from The Cheeze Factory Restaurant Vegan Cookbook.  [Recipe makes roughly 6 cups of sauce.  If you aren't planning on serving a large group, you can either freeze the leftover sauce, or half the recipe].

It's only been a couple months since I was first introduced to this sauce at the Cheeze Factory, and I'm absolutely hooked.  Besides its bold flavors and lack of dairy, the reason for this new love of mine is its versatility.  Serve it hot with your favorite rice, pasta, and/or roasted vegetables.  Cool it down and incorporate in an Asian pasta salad.  Spice up a flatbread by drizzling some peanut sauce on top.  Or even keep it as a dipping sauce for some spring rolls.

I've altered the original recipe slightly (most recently with the addition of peanut butter), and typically mix in some whole grain pasta, roasted vegetables (oven-roasted broccoli and bell peppers are my favorites), and top with shredded coconut, sesame seeds, scallions, and crushed peanuts.  But its really up to your taste buds how you wish to use and garnish the sauce.

[Side note:  If you ever want to try the original dish, I highly recommend a trip to Wisconsin Dells' Cheeze Factory.  And if you have room after the meal, pick out a dessert or two from their rotating display.  Seriously...whether you're vegan or not, you won't be disappointed].

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup coconut oil
2 cups diced red onions

3 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup minced ginger
1 tablespoon garam masala
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon red curry paste

4 cups chopped tomatoes
2 (14-ounce) cans coconut milk
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons organic cane sugar
1/3 cup peanut butter

1 cup fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
1 cup fresh cilantro, tightly packed

DIRECTIONS:

Heat the coconut oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot.  Add the onions, and cook several minutes until translucent.  Add the garlic, ginger, garam masala, tomato paste, and red curry paste.  Stir, and cook for an additional minute.  Add the tomatoes, coconut milk, salt, sugar, and peanut butter, and stir, making sure to deglaze any bits from the bottom.  Bring to a low boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook for an hour, stirring occasionally.  Lastly, add the basil and cilantro and cook for one minute.  Remove from heat, and transfer in batches to a high-speed blender.  Purée until the sauce is smooth in texture and uniform in appearance.

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