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Monday, April 30, 2012

Artisana Nut Butters for Virtual Potluck: Shrimp Stir Fry and French Toast

Dana's Mystery Ingredients
My sister, Dana, recently challenged me to a "Chopped" style cooking experiment where she would bring home a range of mystery ingredients and I would have to prepare a meal using all of them.  I added my own wrinkle by also making this little culinary challenge into a post for Virtual Potluck.  Artisana Raw Organic Nut Butters had previously gifted each of the VP bloggers with some various butters and asked us to use them in some recipes.  Not knowing what Dana would come up with, I thought it may make my day even tougher to incorporate a couple nut butters into my dish as well!  

Shrimp Stir-Fry with Artisana Cashew Butter
I decided to split the ingredients into two dishes.  Obviously the highlight of Dana's mystery ingredients were the large, head-on Louisiana shrimp.  I know I had to do something fun with those.  Along with the shrimp were portobello mushrooms, water chestnuts, blackberries, eggs, and a loaf of bread.  I also added the Artisana cashew butter and the pecan butter for good measure. My first dish went a little Asian in nature.  I decided to stir-fry the shrimp with the mushrooms, water chestnuts, and cashew butter.  I also added a little onion and carrot along with some sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and soy sauce.   The resulting dish had plenty of flavor!  The cashew butter added a nuttiness to the dish and worked well with the flavors of the oil and vinegar to make an interesting sauce.  Peanut sauces are fairly common in Thai cuisine, so I figured that the cashews ought to work in the stir-fry, and they did.

French Toast with Blackberry-Pecan Cane Syrup
I still had blackberries, bread, and eggs in addition to the Artisana pecan butter so it seemed like a dessert was in order.  I decided to go for a French Toast with Blackberry-Pecan Cane Syrup.  I sliced up the bread and dredged it in some beaten eggs spiced up with a little cinnamon.  The strips of egg covered bread were then grilled on a pan to give them a golden brown crust on the outside.  I also took some pureed blackberries, pecan butter, and cane syrup and whisked them all together to make sauce which I then drizzled over the French toast.  After adding a couple fresh blackberries as a garnish, this breakfast-turned dessert was ready to be devoured!

Artisana Organic Foods makes quite a few different organic raw nut butters.  They are manufactured in a gluten free and peanut free facility.  They are pure, with no sugar added, and are extremely healthy to cook into recipes or just eat them with some fruit on the go.  If you'd like to receive your own bottle of one of their nut butters and some sample squeeze packs, leave a comment on this post telling me about your favorite nut!  I'll pick one winner and get Artisana to send you a little something special.