Welcome to Never Fail, a weekly column where we wax poetic about the recipes that never, ever let us down.
A lot of the great works of our time have been ghostwritten. The Count of Monte Cristo. Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to The Moon.” And now, this article on curried peanut dip.
Okay, let me back it up for a second. This article isn’t technically ghostwritten, it’s just that this ode to Molly Baz’s curried peanut dip is technically from my boyfriend. Don’t get me wrong: I love this dip. I will make it in the Test Kitchen when we’ve got odds and ends lying around that are begging for a protein-packed sauce to turn them into capital “L” Lunch, or when friends decide to come over on Friday night after work. But my boyfriend makes it so much I’ve actually had to start sending him other recipes at the beginning of the week, fearful he’s going to max out on peanut butter at any given moment.
I get his obsession: It’s only eight ingredients including vegetable oil and salt. Jarred red curry paste and fish sauce give it a quick hit of spice and funk; peanut butter and coconut milk add richness, body, and protein; honey brings the sweetness; and rice vinegar lends a splash of brightness.
And talk about something that comes together quickly. After red curry paste is bloomed in a little oil until fragrant, you’ll whisk in coconut milk and bring the whole thing to a simmer. Stir in the rest of the ingredients off heat, then put it in the fridge to set up and cool off, and you’re done. The sauce works drizzled over ground chicken lettuce wraps, as a dip for Persian cucumbers, or thinned out to make a peanutty dressing for salad or rice noodles. The spicy-funky-salty-sweet balance keeps you coming back for more.
Don’t ever tell him I think he’s right but maybe my boyfriend is actually onto something here: Curried peanut dip literally goes with everything.