Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Daring Cooks' July Challenge: Nut Butters


The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.


I realize I have been really neglecting this blog this past month. But rest assured, I’ve pretty much been neglecting ALL my usual online activity these days, except for email. My apologies to all the beautiful bloggers whose posts I haven’t been reading as regularly as usual – I miss you! Let’s just say life has been… not hectic, exactly, but weird, and changing from day to day. Things keep happening that stop me from forming a routine.

So, getting my DB and DC challenges is pretty much all I can muster right now. And even then, just barely: I made this month’s dish yesterday.

This month’s Daring Cooks’ challenge was simple: make nut butter from scratch, and cook with it. Straightforward, yet so full of possibilities!


I had never made nut butter, but it turned out to be a breeze: just put your preferred nuts in a food processor and chop, adding oil if necessary, until you obtain the desired texture. I was somewhat afraid our old food processor, which is more than 20 years old, wouldn’t be able to handle it, but it came through with flying colours!


Our hostesses had given us several recipes, but given the temperature here these days, the cold Asian noodle salad really jumped out at me. Plus, Laurent and I often have to eat dinner fairly quickly these days, because the FanTasia film festival is going on right now: it’s when we make up for never going to the movies during the rest of the year, by bingeing on alternative Asian films and animations for three weeks. Since noodle salad can be made in advance, it was perfect for such a night.

(On a side note: I may be neglecting my blog, but I am still a hopeless foodie. The movie we saw yesterday was Le Grand Chef 2: Kimchi Battle, which, you guessed it, is about Korean chefs battling to make the best kimchi. I squealed during all the food shots, I drooled over the fancy knives and pretty equipment, and then… I cried. I cried during a food movie. To be fair, it was during an emotional, mostly food-unrelated scene. Still… I cried during Le Grand Chef 2.)



The noodle salad was a huge hit. I used Chinese egg noodles (despite being kind of frustrated that the ones I had in the pantry look like spaghetti), and mostly followed the recipe, except that I substituted sautéed mushrooms for cucumber (we’ve been eating cucumbers everyday, and I needed a change), and cut the garlic in the dressing (despite that, both of us still had vampire-repelling breath during the movie). Speaking of the cashew butter-based dressing, it was so good I felt like licking my plate. Laurent has declared that he wants this dish again, very soon.

So, despite being last minute, I thoroughly enjoyed this challenge. Thank you, Margie and Natashya! To see the challenge recipe, head on over to the Daring Kitchen, and check out the blogroll for some creative uses of nut butter!

16 comments:

  1. Your noodle salad looks fabulous. Great idea to use sauteed mushrooms, YUM! I'm glad you enjoyed the dressing despite the vampire-repelling qualities! Thanks for tip on foodie movie.

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  2. Beautiful, beautiful dish!! Lovely lovely job on this month's challenge!

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  3. Sautéed mushroom that is brilliant and your first photo looks so elegant and tasty. Lovely work on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

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  4. Ooo, you did make the salad! Now I have to show Tom how good yours looks and maybe I can convince him that eating a 'salad' is not as bad as it sounds! Looks delicious!

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  5. Great job! And hey, as long as you guys had garlicy-anti-vampire breath together, it's all good, right? :) Glad you were able to fit the challenge in, because it looks and sounds like it was absolutely delicious!

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  6. Great job and absolutely awesome dish. I love the flavours of it all and the use of egg noodles. Would have loved to have a taste of it too!

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  7. Well I could have guessed you would have done the Asian recipe ha ha. Bet you are having a blast at Fantasia. Great job on the challenge!

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  8. This asian salad looks fantastic! I keep getting the urge to go into the kitchen and start cooking it and it's not even noon yet!

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  9. I love the substitution you made, your asian salad looks very delicious! Good job!

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  10. Now all i can think about is Le Grand Chef 2! ahhhhh im gonna look for it tonight... and maybe look for the first one as well :D

    Congrats that you still completed the challenge! And the noodle salad looks yummmy like always.

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  11. I love a tough challenge but I find the easily doable ones perhaps sometimes more rewarding ... perhaps that's what we all need in our lives. That balance between tough and easy. When they balance they bring out the best in us.
    Really like that cold salad idea! Too too hot here!

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  12. A lovely & awesome looking dish!!


    Yummmmmm,...I would like to savour this tasty dish right now!!

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  13. You really did a great job with this challenge. The salad looks fabulous and I'm sure it's delicious as well. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  14. Your cold asian noodle salad rocks, Val and I love that you cried during Le Grand Chef 2. All of your reactions are similar to my experience watching 'Eat Drink Man Woman' LOL Welcome back!!!

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  15. This noodle salad looks like a perfect summer dish and it looks as though you did quite well on your challenge.

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  16. Yes, our Cashew Dressing was wonderful too - actually our favorite of the sauces we whipped up.

    Well done on your dish, and double well done for keeping your food processor in working order for 20 years!

    Stay JOLLY!
    D&S

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