Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Aji de Mani (aka Spicy Peanut Sauce) - A Colombian Kick in the Pants!

Well, I've told y'all before that I spent some time in South America, and I'm a sucker for all things dips and sauces. So it was just natural that I gravitated towards this Colombian Peanut Sauce. In its original form, it called for both peanuts and fresh peppers. But, I had some Buffalo Nuts from Truly Good Foods and I wanted to streamline the process and just use the spicy nuts. It was indeed a wise choice! This sauce is best made the day before, then let it sit in the fridge overnight. After the resting period it is SO versatile. We used it on a pork tenderloin that needed some TLC, it was fantastic! We tried mixing some into cream cheese...yum! Same thing with hummus...double yum! You can really go in 20 different directions with this one. Give it a shot! It's unique, versatile, and delish! Before making the sauce, you will need to roast the nuts. Not a big deal, but once they are roasted, you are good to go! And now, the sauce!

Aji de Mani (aka Spicy Peanut Sauce)
by Chris
Adapted from "Aji de Mani" (Peanut Hot Sauce), from

1 cup Truly Good Foods Buffalo Nuts, roasted (see below)
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 scallions/green onions, chopped (green parts only)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, lightly packed
1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic (jarred)
1/4 teaspoon Sazon seasoning
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon cumin, depending on taste
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Sriracha hot sauce, divided
1 Tablespoon water
1 Tablespoon corn starch
Salt to taste (1/2 - 1 teaspoon, depending on your preference)

First, roast the nuts. Preheat your oven to 325°F. In a medium bowl gently mix the 1 cup of Truly Good Foods Buffalo Nuts with the olive oil. Stir to coat the nuts completely. When the oven is heated, spread the nuts on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 7-8 minutes, shaking/stirring once during the cooking time. Remove the nuts from the oven at 8 minutes, even if you think they are not fully done. They will continue to cook as they rest, and if they burn they will become bitter. Allow them to cool completely, at least 20-30 minutes. 

Heat the vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes (until it begins to pop). Reduce heat to medium-low and add the scallions/green onions and cilantro. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. When the mixture is reduced and fragrant, remove from heat, set aside, and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. 

After allowing the cooked ingredients to cool, add the nuts, the cilantro/scallion mixture, the garlic, Sazon, cumin, salt, pepper, and 1 teaspoon of Sriracha to a blender. Process for about 20-30 seconds (maybe more, depending on your blender) until a fine paste is formed. There will be small "dots" of peanuts in the sauce, but overall it should have an even consistency. Pour the mixture into a small sauce pot and heat over medium-low for about 15 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Remove from heat, set aside, and let cool (this is also a good stopping point if you want to pre-make the sauce for another time...just store it in the fridge). 

While the sauce is cooling, Mix the one Tablespoon of water with the corn starch to form a slurry. Add extra Sriracha, to taste, if you would like just a little more kick. When sauce is cool, add the slurry mixture and gently reheat over low heat. Taste and adjust seasoning (add more salt, pepper, Sriracha to your liking). As sauce heats with the slurry mix, it will gradually thicken. When thick enough for your use, remove from heat and carefully use an immersion blender to break up any remaining pieces of peanuts or other lumps that might be in the sauce (you could also return the sauce to the blender and give it one more round of blending if you prefer). 

At this point, you can use the sauce as a topping for various meats or vegetables. You can also add it to dips or other appetizers for a unique flavor. Honestly, just get creative! It will last in the fridge for at least 2 weeks, so take your time and experiment. I do hope that you enjoy it as much as my family did!

No comments:

Post a Comment