A spectacular season of foggy mornings, blue afternoons, and streets transformed into magical leaf-strewn fairy paths has given way to something much more drab and familiar.
On a weeknight much like any other, one that will blend into an unexceptional subset of weeknights and will not be remembered someday ten years in the future or even next month, I came home from work on a drizzly grey evening. I kicked off my shoes and greeted the cat and glanced through the mail. Then I put some rice in the rice cooker and opened the refrigerator as the cat, not quite done with greetings yet, purred and wound and curled around my legs in figure eights.
I rummaged around in the refrigerator and came up with the following: broccoli, shiitake mushrooms, and half a bag of spinach. Filling, but hardly thrilling.
I sighed, and realized that I needed a little more flavor, a little more zazz, just a little more.
That boring bag of spinach may have whispered to me its dream of being transformed into a rich dish of Swimming Rama. However it happened, a search through the cupboards produced the ingredients for a quick peanut sauce. A rich pour of coconut milk, the heavy plop of curry paste and peanut butter, a shimmer of sugar and salt. A brisk wielding of the whisk. The sauce simmered, and was poured lavishly over the forgettable weeknight rice and vegetables.
Just like that, mere fuel became a meal.
- 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
- 2 tbsp red curry paste
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup water
- splash of fish sauce (optional)
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together all ingredients and bring to a gentle simmer. Continue to simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Taste and add additional salt or sugar if needed. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before serving.
Keeps well in the refrigerator. Thin with a little water if needed when reheating.