Monday, January 3, 2011

Recipe experimentation with company? Yikes!

Ever since I got married I have been going through the stereotypical learning curve in terms of cooking.  Any time I find myself falling into one of the newlywed cliques I get annoyed at how incredibly normal that makes me.  I want to be the exception, not the rule.  The person who was born for this, the master, the gifted one.  BUT instead I find that I too will walk away from my newlywed era with plenty of truly inedible disasters under my belt.  This is a story of one of those disasters.  Lucky me you.
As I mentioned in my last blog my friend Tyler hung out with my husband and I for New Years Eve. Well at the last minute he and his lady friend were invited for dinner to begin our new year festivities.  We had originally planned a simple dinner of frozen asian food from sams club for 4.  Well since I now had two more mouths to feed I said "Don't worry I will make a few things on my own too!" The plan started out perfect  "I will make peanut butter chicken stir fry. I have made this a hundred times before and it always comes out amazing"  It was a good plan.  A flawless plan. A foolproof plan. I had the potential to impress my parents and my friends!  It was going to be glorious!
BUT I decided this was a good time to experiment.
Let me tell you a little well known secret.  When you have a recipe name like Peanut Butter Chicken Stirfry and you decided to change the peanut butter and the chicken to something have a different recipe.  Here is the correct recipe so you can see what I was going for (FYI when made correctly this recipe is super easy and super delicious.  My friend Dustin made it up and I am eternally grateful to him for sharing it with me):

Peanut Butter Chicken Stir Fry
~2 tbsp oil
~2 to 4 chicken breasts sliced into little pieces.  (depends on how much chicken to vegetable ratio you want)
~Normal peanut butter either smooth or crunchy (I tend to use a mixture of both.  If only using smooth consider throwing in some unsalted peanuts)
~A combination of your favorite Stir fry vegetables (I use canned  and drained water chestnuts, baby corn and straw mushrooms.  Along with fresh or frozen broccoli and sugar snap peas)

First heat up a wok or very large skillet to medium high heat and add 2 tbsp of oil. Season the chicken with salt and any other spices you like such as crushed red peppers, tiny tiny amount of oregano or even wine.   Throw in the Chicken and keep it moving.  When the chicken is cooked (which wont take long considering the chicken pieces are so small) add the vegetables.  Once tender turn down the heat to medium or medium low add a heaping spoonful or two of peanut butter and stir until the peanut butter is melted and the stir fry is evenly covered. The amount of peanut butter you use is really to taste, add as little or as much as you like.  If you are using only chunky you will need several spoonfuls.  Once you have the peanut butter evenly coated serve immediately. 
(Sorry I don't have any pictures of this delicious recipe.  I will try to remember to do this in the future)

What I did wrong:  Instead of cooking the raw chicken right there on the spot I used left over turkey that was already cooked and falling off the bone and instead of normal peanut butter, like Jif, I used all natural peanut butter that had to be mixed together before use.  Regular peanut butter will melt and stick to the incredients but to my horror the all natural peanut butter (which should be considered a liquid) would not melt!! No matter how hard I tried to get the peanut butter to melt and stick to the ingredients it would either burn to the bottom of the pan or stick to the turkey pieces that were rapidly shredding apart as I mixed the ingredients together.  Leaving me with little peanut butter turkey bombs! delightful.  Eventually my mother discovered that they did in fact have regular old Jif peanut butter hiding away! I immediately added the Jiff as an attempt to salvage the disaster which meant that there was practically more peanut butter than anything else in the dish.
In Conclusion: I should have told my guests that everything on the table was originally a frozen entree.  



  1. Haha! Oh dear. The original sounds good...yes, its cliched, but we've all done it!

  2. Tyler enjoyed it, and had fun hanging out with you guys. This was a very funny post!

  3. Linda I want you to know that you were the inspiration for this post! Thanks for the idea to talk about my cooking disasters : D