Wonder what peanuts and pinot have to do with each other? Plenty. And we’re serving up a recipe for Pad Thai with Spicy Peanut Sauce to really show off this all-star Texas pairing.
Thanks to the Texas Peanut Producers Board for their partnership and giving me a chance to learn this legume in a whole new way.
To say I love wine is an understatement (and not in that mama needs her “sippycup” kind of way.)
I’m not a wine snob but a wine dork, one that really loves everything about wine and have for a long time (I actually wrote a research paper on the Texas Wine Industry and Tourism 12 years ago), took wine classes, and yes, enjoy sitting there just sampling wine. I love to travel to wine country (there is more than one you know) and am fascinated with how geography, science and passion come together to create a glass of vino. (See, I told you I was a dork.)
So when I had the chance to visit Lubbock (a perfect place for peanut making and the home of the Texas Peanut Producers Board) to learn about peanuts, I was interested to see agriculture at work, but didn’t know what to expect. Until of course, I got on the field to learn about peanuts (yes, there’s a lot that goes into peanut planting, processing and promoting!) and the relationship between peanuts and wine. (Bet you didn’t know there was one, huh?)
A Few Peanuts to Ponder:
- One acre of peanuts will make 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches
- Peanut butter is the leading use of peanuts in the U.S
- It takes almost 850 peanuts to make an 18oz jar of peanut butter!
Many peanut farmers (like Mason Becker) are using some of their fields for grapes for the purposes of winemaking (or viniculture.) In fact many of the areas of Texas referred to as the “New Napa” like Fredricksburg and the Hill Country, actually grow their grapes in West Texas around the Lubbock area because the region’s climate is similar (and in many ways, better) than Italy and its European counterparts.
However, the idea of TEXAS wines, while not new to Texas as our first winery was in the 1600s by Franciscan priests, it certainly has changed in the last 20 years and thankfully for the better. Names like McPherson (Lubbock!), Messina Hof, Duchman, and Brennan are big names that have received some big accolades, but one of my favorites that I met was the three families behind Trilogy Wines.
A new winemaker, right out of the gate produced an award-winning Malbec that earned them several titles including Best of Class at the 2017 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. And while the Malbec was silky, vanilla and herby, it was some of their others like their Pinot Grigio that really got my attention (I bought a case.) But best of all, these guys had been growing peanuts before that in the same field that these amazing grapes were coming from.
So it got me thinking a lot about (and hungry for) peanuts and grapes, together. Not so much in that PBJ way (I’m not a fan for the record AT ALL), but more like in the pairing of these two Texas crops in dishes…like one of my favorites, Pad Thai. The combo of the fruit from the pinot, the creaminess of the peanut butter, and the crunch of those Texas peanuts, make it an all-star dish anytime. (And did I mention it doesn’t take long at all to make?)
- 12 ounces shrimp, deveined, cooked (you can use any protein, but shrimp is quickest!)
- 12 ounces of rice noodles (I prefer linguine but you can use smaller if you need to.)
- 4 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, shredded
- 1 cup peppers (I used a mix of red and green)
- 3 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 1/2 tablespoon ginger (super for your digestive system)
- 1/2 tablespoon turmeric (super for your immune system)
- 1/4 cup honey, local
- 1/4 cup creamy Peanut Butter
- 1/4 cup soy sauce (or tamari)
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- sriracha sauce (season to your liking)
- 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
- Optional: cilantro chopped
- Optional: lime, sliced
- Boil pasta as directed.
- Drain and return to pot and 1/2 sesame oil and toss.
- In another pot, heat rest of sesame oil over medium heat and add vegetables and spices.
- Saute until tender.
- Add honey, peanut butter, soy sauce and sriracha and simmer two minutes.
- Pour sauce into pot with noodles and toss well.
- To serve, garnish with chopped peanuts, chopped cilantro, and a quarter of lime.
- Pairs well with a pinot grigio!