Earl of Sandwich, meet the King of Siam. Yes, I'll answer your first question - I have gone mad! Mad for the taste of peanut butter!
In this post-Holiday world, many of us are being frugal, taking lunch to work, brown-bagging it as it were. But the old staples get... old. If you can't stand another plain peanut butter sandwich, give this Thai-inspired sandwich a try. You can certainly adjust the ingredients to reflect your tastes.
And what ingredients! Peanut butter (of course), coconut flakes for sweetness and flavor, lime juice for tartness and to brighten the mix, "rooster sauce" for heat, cilantro for freshness, and just a little milk or soy milk to loosen the mix up and make the protein in the peanut butter more available to your body, ginger! garlic! - what doesn't this sandwich have?
Actually, I might try adding thinly sliced scallions to the next batch, but we had none at home at the time.
I served this with a dollop of orange marmalade for "dipping". You could make it into a PB&J instead by putting the marmalade in the sandwich, but go easy on the sweet spread.
January's also the time for dieting, after all.
Thai Peanut Butter Sandwich makes 2 sandwiches
4 slices wheat bread
1/2 cup - 3/4 cup peanut butter (depending on how "Thai" you want it)
2-3 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons sweetened dried coconut flakes (or a little coconut milk, about 2-3 tablespoons)
if using coconut flakes and not milk, 2 tablespoons soy or regular cow's milk
2 tablespoons sriracha hot chile sauce, aka "Rooster sauce"
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon chopped ginger
1 minced garlic clove
optional dollop of orange marmalade
chives for garnish
Heat the peanut butter in a microwave in a bowl until it softens up a bit, but isn't blistering hot. You should be able to stir it with a little effort.
Mix in the rest of the ingredients into the peanut butter, and mix well. If you are using coconut milk instead of flakes, you may not need to add the soy or cow's milk. The purpose of the milk is to loosen up the mix a little so all the ingredients mix well. I just didn't want to open a new can for such a small amount of liquid.
Taste and adjust flavors. It should "feel" Thai. Of course I doubt anyone Thai has ever made a sandwich of a mix like this, but we're going for something like what a 1970's American school lunch Thai dish would be if such a thing had ever existed.
Toast the bread and spread the peanut butter mix on the toast. Slap two slices together, cut in half and serve.
For optimal results, let the peanut butter mix sit overnight to let the flavors mix. You're going to need to pack a breath mint in your lunch box, too.