National Peanut Day: 5 recipes turning the classic into the classy

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By: Amelia Hooper

Daniella Segura/Flickr

Get cracking, friends. 

Sunday, Sept. 13, is National Peanut Day. From cracking open peanuts at a baseball game to tossing the shells all over a Texas Roadhouse floor, we’re bound to remember peanuts somewhere from our childhood. After all, who hasn’t enjoyed a simple peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich?

My family’s favorite peanut splurge is a stack of three buttermilk pancakes, each spread with a thick layer of peanut butter and drenched in maple syrup — yum. My husband prefers it straight out of the jar.

Peanuts typically get herded into the snack and lunch categories. But check out these five recipes that transform this timeless pantry staple into a delectable main attraction.

THAI NOODLES WITH SPICY PEANUT SAUCE

From HollyGolightly, Food.com

Ingredients

Noodles

  • 12 oz. linguine
  • 4 tbsp. sesame oil

Sauce

  • 1 cup finely shredded carrots
  • 2 cups frozen stir-fry vegetables
  • 3 tbsp. minced garlic, fresh
  • ½ tbsp. ground ginger or 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • ½ tbsp. chili-garlic sauce

Directions

  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water according to package directions. Drain and return to pot.
  2. Add 2 tbsp. sesame oil and toss to coat. Set aside.
  3. Heat remaining 2 tbsp. sesame oil in heavy pot over medium-high heat.
  4. Add green onions, carrots, stir-fry veggies, garlic and ginger. Saute until vegetables soften, about 4 minutes.
  5. Add honey, peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar and chili-garlic sauce and mix well. Simmer sauce 2 minutes.
  6. Pour sauce over pasta and toss well. Transfer to platter and serve warm. Garnish with additional green onions, if desired.

PEANUT BUTTER BANANA BREAD

From the National Peanut Board

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup peanuts, chopped
  • ¼ cup wheat germ
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 ⅓ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups coarsely mashed bananas (3 or 4)

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine flours, peanuts, wheat germ, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
  2. Beat eggs in large bowl. Add sugar and beat until creamy. Add peanut butter, oil and vanilla and beat well. Add banana, beat 1 minute. Stir in dry ingredients until blended.
  3. Spray two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray. Divide batter equally between pans; tap on counter to settle batter.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 55 to 65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  5. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely. Slice 32 pieces when cool.

CREAM OF PEANUT SOUP

From the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 8 cups chicken stock (or low-salt canned chicken stock)
  • 2 cups smooth peanut butter
  • 1 ¾ cups light cream or half-and-half
  • Finely chopped salted peanuts, for garnish

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan or soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring often until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in flour and cook 2 minutes longer.
  3. Pour in the chicken stock, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until slightly reduced and thickened, about 15 minutes.
  5. Pour into a sieve set over a large bowl and strain, pushing hard on the solids to extract as much flavor as possible. Return the liquid to the sauce pan or pot.
  6. Whisk the peanut butter and the cream into the liquid. Warm over low heat, whisking often, for about 5 minutes. Do not boil.
  7. Serve warm, garnished with the chopped peanuts.

CHICKEN SATE WITH SPICY PEANUT DIPPING SAUCE

From Ellie Krieger, Food Network

Ingredients

  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • ½ cup lite coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 shallot, sliced thin
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ tsp. Thai fish sauce (or 2 additional tsp. low-sodium soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. lime zest
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast pounded slightly and cut into 1-inch strips
  • ¾ cup Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce, recipe below
  • 2 tbsp. minced fresh basil or cilantro leaves
  • ¼ cup chopped toasted peanuts 

Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce

  • ½ cup natural creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp. chili flakes
  • 1 tsp. red curry paste
  • 1 shallot, peeled and roughly chopped 

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the chicken stock, coconut milk, soy sauce, shallot, garlic, fish sauce, brown sugar, lime zest and ginger.
  2. Add the chicken strips and marinate for 1 hour. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.
  3. Spray a nonstick grill pan with cooking spray and preheat over a medium-high flame. While pan is heating, thread chicken onto pre-soaked skewers. Grill 2 to 3 minutes per side, until meat is cooked through and has light grill marks.
  4. Serve chicken skewers with Peanut Dipping Sauce, and garnish with basil or cilantro and chopped peanuts.
  5. For the Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce, place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

REESE’S PEANUT BUTTER CHEESECAKE

From Deborah, TasteandTellBlog.com

Ingredients

Crust

  • 30 chocolate sandwich cookies
  • 6 tbsp. butter, melted
  • Dash of salt

Cheesecake

  • 32 oz. cream cheese
  • 5 eggs
  • 1½ cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • ½ cup cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 12 oz. Reese’s Peanut Butter Minis, unwrapped and roughly chopped

Topping

  • ½ cup cream
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 (8 oz) package Reese’s Minis

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Put the chocolate sandwich cookies in a food processor and process until they form fine crumbs. Add the butter and salt and process to combine. Press the mixture into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, then set aside to cool. Wrap aluminum foil around the sides and the bottom of the springform pan tightly to ensure water cannot leak through.
  3. Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Add the brown sugar, peanut butter, cream and vanilla; beat until combined. Gently fold in the chopped Reese’s Minis. Pour the mixture into the cooled crust.
  4. Place the pan inside a larger pan and carefully put about 1 inch of hot water in the larger pan. Bake the cheesecake until it is just set, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn off the oven and allow the temperature to come down gently for about an hour. Remove from the oven, cool completely, then refrigerate until completely cool.
  5. To make the chocolate topping, heat the cream until simmering, just before boiling. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate chips. Allow the mixture to sit for a couple minutes, then stir until smooth. Pour over the top of the cheesecake, allowing it to drip down the sides. Sprinkle the Reese’s Minis over the top of the cheesecake.

What is your favorite way to eat peanuts? Let us know in the comments below!

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