Thursday, January 29, 2009

Peanut butter pasta dish...

We've gotten a few notes wondering what happened to the posts on Wednesday. The reason we haven't been posting for the past few weeks on that day is we've either been eating leftovers or just making a quick sandwich. Why? Well, Gus has actually been in Puppy Kindergarten! We didn't do any training when we got Max and have regretted it, so we figured we would at least learn the basics with Gus!

You know... train the people while the pups play around and socialize! Wednesday nights were the only time we could go and it totally ruined dinner plans, but it was worth it. We're officially done now and Gus has graduated with fly colors! Hot Dog! He even got a fancy bone and a diploma... though I think he was a little sad he didn't get a little cap to show off to his friends.

We are thinking about advancing to an agility class, but will probably wait until it gets closer to spring when it is a little warmer outside.

We will most likely go back to Wednesday postings within the next couple of weeks since we'll be making a new recipe then again, though a one-day-a-week break was kind of refreshing!

On to tonight's dinner... Jeff had been asking for a shrimp dish the last few weeks, but I kept forgetting about fitting one in during menu planning. This previous Saturday while picking out recipes, he brought it up again, so I made to to dive into the seafood pile to see what we could come up with.

I came upon a recipe for Peanut Fettuccine with Shrimp, Carrots, and Snow Peas. After checking the ingredient list, I found I would only end up needing to buy snow peas... score! Once we dropped the fettuccine and took it out a couple minutes before it was technically ready, I took some of the starchy liquid we cooked it in and whisked it into a bowl of creamy peanut butter. Doing this right away allows the hot water to soften the peanut butter and is incorporates in a few short strokes.

While that was happening, I tossed a mountain of trimmed snow peas and cut carrots into a skillet with a slick of peanut oil covering the bottom. After a couple minutes of being zipped around the skillet, a dose of fresh ginger and sliced cloves of garlic were added to let the heat disperse their flashy flavors. Broth is added to keep the veggies loose, then everything is sloshed into a bowl and set aside. In the same skillet (less dishes!), a little more oil is heated to begin cooking a pound of peeled shrimp. You won't want to step away at this point, so be sure you can stick around for the short 2 minutes they take to pink up.

While those were thrown into the bowl with the veggies, that same skillet is not quite done with its job yet. Remember that thinned peanut butter? We souped it up with broth, a scoop of sugar, soy sauce and chili garlic sauce. Added to the skillet, the sauce is simmered for a couple minutes to reduce it slightly. The almost-cooked pasta is brought back into the picture - while it will be stuck together as it has sat alone, as soon as the pasta is added in, the strands will release their hold and become single again. Once coated in the thick sauce, we stirred the shrimp and veggies back in just to nudge their temperature back up.

With just enough oomph from the chili garlic sauce to give this a bare tingle of heat as it went down, we quite enjoyed the nutty background from the peanut sauce paired with the fresh vegetables and shrimp. A little salty from the soy sauce, balanced well with the sweetness in the sugar, we found this dish to have a very satisfying savory tone, leaving us with full, but content bellies! If you're not in love with shrimp, I wouldn't pass this up for that reason alone - try using shredded, cooked chicken if you have some leftover or even just sautéing up a pound of chunked chicken instead of the shrimp!


  1. Wow, yum, that looks and sounds REALLY good!! I think peanut sauces are always so much better tasting than you'd initially expect them to be.

    "Pink up" - is that the official term!? LOL

    I still can't get over Gus' crazy coloring - both his fur and his eyes. So intense. And aren't you glad you did the puppy training?! Now the trick is to remember to KEEP doing all the sits, downs, stays, etc... I wonder how much extra weight these guys put on just from all the treats they get during training!? Did you guys use clickers?

    I've also thought about agility training for our Doogie...and I agree, wait til all the snow is gone! While it's fun to play with him out in the deep snow in the yard, I don't want to feel OBLIGATED to go out there all the time with him right now...

  2. Congrats Guz.

    Now where is Joe's and Jeff's diploma?

  3. Congrats to Gus for passing Puppy Kindergarden! He must be one proud pup. :)

    As always, I've been throughly enjoying the recipe reviews!


  4. Gus is so sweet! I see in the picture he is doing an excellent "Down". :) Good move on the training. We adopted our dachshund/terrier mix as a 4-year-old, and while he is very smart and learns easily, he's rather stubborn and won't always bother with obeying commands. I'm sure if he'd been trained as a puppy he'd be a bit more obedience-minded. Congrats to Gus on his diploma!

  5. Congrats to Gus! So cute. That meal sounds great.

  6. I saw this post title and was hearkened back to my days of restaurant work. We used to make a fettucine with shrimp and a chipotle-peanut sauce. Your recipe sounds similar - and good!

  7. gus is growing up to be quite a cutie :) glad the class went well!

  8. Jeph - It is now ;-)

    Yes, I'm quite glad we did the training... thankfully, his temperament is already laid back. I don't know how he didn't balloon up though with all those darn treats during training! We didn't use clicker training.

    OD - Good question!

    Kristin - Thanks!

    Sobaka - I can see that... Gus will be stubborn when he really wants something!

    Helene - Thanks!

    Peter - Oh man... I wish I would have thought of the chipotle addition! Jeff loves that.

    TTFN - Thanks!

  9. what type of dog is Gus. He is the most beautiful dog I've ever seen! seriously!

  10. Anon - Gus is a long-haired dachshund.

  11. I made this for dinner yesterday and my husband was over the moon. I used chunky peanut butter so I had bits of peanuts. Nice bit of crunch. I didn't mention the addition of peanut butter till after he ate it all up. It was so good. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  12. Suzann - Great choice with the chunky nut butter!