A couple days ago my mom, Kelly, flew out from Atlanta to hang out with the peacocks and me in Santa Fe. And since she has arrived we haven’t stopped cooking. Let me tell you, this woman is an excellent cook; Michelin would rate Chez Kelly with three stars and then go on to justify the honor with ebullient descriptions like “ingenious!” “unassumingly irresistible” and “a bright take on Thai, French, and Latin flavors!” If the Red Book’s tasters could try this lady’s roast chicken au provençal, they would be eternally enchantées.
Growing up, my mom never used recipes. When I left home for Davidson, I asked for a catalog of her most famous recipes. She spent a year on that thing trying to nail down how much cumin I should add to spice her enchiladas or yogurt to add to her almond-cucumber gazpacho. When I make those recipes with her today, she always ends up re-altering something.
The most recent result of our culinary collaboration is a simple peanut Thai satay sauce from her recipe book. We didn’t follow the recipe (surprise!) because we had to omit several things she has in her well stocked kitchen that I don’t have here. Yet the result is a sauce that is just as warm, spicy and addictively peanut buttery as I my mom’s satay. We tossed the satay in a chard, ginger and beef stir fry and served it with purple sticky rice and cucumber mint salad. It was so good our usual rapid mother-daughter banter ceased and we ate in amicable silence.
Peanut Satayserves 4. adapted from the kitchen of Kelly Blount. 3-4 Tbsp peanut butter 3 Tbsp soy sauce 1/2 lime, squeezed 1 clove finely chopped garlic 1-2 tsp red chile flakes 1 Tbsp anchovy paste cilantro, if desired
Whisk ingredients together until sauce is emulsified. Serve over vegetables/meat or store for up to a week (this sauce definitely gets better with age).