Can you recall the first sandwich you ever ate? Most of us will probably say, Peanut Butter and Jelly. When I grew up, it was the standard sandwich in my lunch box and I never tired of it. I liked it the old fashion way with smooth peanut butter, grape jelly and white bread. Even the thought of it right now makes my mouth water.
I recently was given the honor of throwing a birthday party for my niece. I wanted the food to be kid friendly but still interesting to the group of adults in attendance, my in-laws! When it comes to food, their tastes are simple. I knew that an elementary lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches would go over big. I had to stay true to the flavors of this classic but the foodie in me had to think outside of the lunchbox.
I started to search the Internet for some creative hints on making this very traditional sandwich when I came upon the website for “Peanut Butter & Co.” (http://ilovepeanutbutter.com) This company makes all different flavors of peanut butter, has it’s own cookbook and a restaurant.
Their online store was absolutely wonderful and easy to navigate. My mouth literally watered at their descriptions of the peanut butters and my imagination ran wild. I purchased 5 of their unique flavors (plus their cookbook) and stole a few ideas off of their restaurant menu and I was set to go!
The sandwiches I chose to make stayed true to the essence of the salty sweetness we have all grown to love over the years.
“Old Fashion”: Smooth Peanut Butter and grape jelly on Italian bread.
“White Chocolate Wonderful”: White Chocolate Peanut butter, orange marmalade and sliced almonds on cranberry/cinnamon bread.
“Mighty Maple”: Maple peanut butter, mixed berry and BACON on wheat bread. (Seriously, you have to try this sandwich, it is amazing).
“Dark Chocolate Dream”: Dark Chocolate Peanut butter and cherry jam on banana bread
“Bees Knees”: Honey peanut butter and apple butter on sourdough bread.
“Thai One On”: Spicy Peanut butter, pepper jelly, sautéed chicken in a wheat pita.
The party went over wonderfully and it was fun to hear everyone’s favorite sandwich. My brother-in-law and I both had the same favorite, the Thai chicken peanut butter sandwich!
Thai One On
1-pound chicken tenders, cut into one-inch chunks
3 TBsp light soy sauce
2 TBsp fish sauce
2 tsp EACH chopped ginger and minced garlic
¼ tsp each turmeric and cumin
1 TBsp chopped lemon grass
½ cup cilantro, chopped
½ cup Peanut Butter Co. Heat is On Peanut Butter
16 mini wheat pitas
¼ cup hot pepper jelly
- In a non-reactive container, combine chicken, soy, fish sauce, ginger, garlic, turmeric, cumin and lemon grass.
- Let chicken marinate for at least an hour.
- Drain off excess marinade and sauté in a nonstick pan over medium high heat until chicken is cooked all the way.
- Lower heat to low and add the peanut butter until it is well incorporated.
- Sprinkle with cilantro.
- Snip the tops of the pita. Add a couple chunks of chicken and a dollop (about ½ tsp) of pepper jelly.
- Serve and taste as the magic unfolds!
When you take your first bite, your mouth will think you are eating something Thai but the memory it will evoke is PB & J.
I think I respected the time honored tradition of the Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich. I was able to take it to the next level with the help of Peanut Butter Co. My mother-in-law summed up the meal the best by saying she will never think of Peanut Butter and Jelly the same again.