Recipes and Food Stories from the African Diaspora
Written by Therese Nelson is the Founder of Black Culinary History BlackCulinaryHistory.com
I have to admit that I have a huge historical crush on George Washington Carver. I love the spirit he brought to his life and his work. He was an artist first, and had a way of connecting to the beauty in seemingly simple things like flowers or even the peanut that when he worked in the scientific or agricultural disciplines he was able to bring that artistry and innovation to each project. His work was a profoundly complicated melody of practicality, technical excellence, and unabashed uniqueness that became his professional signature.
The George Washington Carver story is one of black thought and ingenuity being born from a generation who literally rose above slavery to lay the groundwork for free black life in this country. Carver was a genius, a maverick, an artist, and a scientist, but most importantly he was a black man whose legacy is woven deeply into the fabric of the American experience in a way that transcends race. I think Mr. Carver would have loved Kwanzaa and would have had lots of great recipes to share.
In the spirit of Carver’s revolutionary work with peanuts we would like to invite you to share your best peanut butter recipe using any of the Peanut Butter & Co. brands in the comment section below. Once chosen winner with the best recipe wins the following: The Peanut Butter & Co.’s six pack of peanut butter, their new Peanut Brittle in three flavors, their new Corny Crunch (a peanut butter/caramel/popcorn mixture), and three assorted canned peanut snack varieties. Contest starts Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011 and ends Thursday, Dec. 29 at 11 p.m./PST. Winner announced on Friday, Dec. 30th, 2011. Contest open to residents of the continental United States, excluding Alaska, Hawaii and U.S. foreign territories. No additional purchase or shipping expenses are necessary. Prize cannot be exchanged. Must provide an email used only to notify the winner and for shipping information. Please note: This contest is sponsored by and organized by KwanzaaCulinarians.com.
Therese Nelson is the Founder of Black Culinary History BlackCulinaryHistory.com, a project devoted to the reverent examination of the black contribution to modern American cuisine. BCH focuses on retracing the historical evolution of black chefs from slavery to today, promoting the work of modern black chefs as a juxtaposition to inaccurate mainstream images of the professional chef, and inspiring young black chefs through mentorship in order to connect them tangibly to their rich, yet marginalized legacy in food. In addition to this project Therese is also the Executive Chef of the culinary lifestyle brand Get ‘Em Girl Inc. and GetemGirlsCatering.com.
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I just want to give a shout out to George Washington Carver! I went to Iowa State University, where he was the first black student and faculty member. His legacy is still celebrated there in the form of buildings (Carver Hall) and scholarships (GWC Scholars, an award given to minority freshmen based on their PSAT and SAT scores). Its kind of odd, but I think of Dr. Carver every time I make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich! 🙂
Graham Cracker French Toast
-1 cup crushed graham crackers
-1 tsp vanilla
-3/4 cup milk (I used almond milk)
– pumpkin pie spice, to taste
– day old bread of your choice
– butter for frying
– 3 bananas, chopped
– peanut butter and co mighty maple peanut butter
– optional: chocolate chips, maple syrup
In a frying pan, caramelize the chopped bananas. Remove from heat and put to the side. Whisk together eggs, vanilla, milk and pumpkin pie spice. Place graham crackers (crushed) in a shallow bowl. Meanwhile, spread 1 tablespoon of peanut butter on each slice of bread. On half of the bread slices, place caramelized bananas on top of the peanut butter, then take a second piece of bread (with peanut butter but no bananas) and place on top of the first piece (peanut butter side down) to make a peanut butter and banana sandwich). Melt butter in a skillet for frying. Dip sandwich in the egg mixture, making sure to evenly coat it. Then place in the graham cracker crumbs, to create a graham cracker crust. Fry on the skillet, making sure to cook both sides, until golden brown. Top with whatever you wish. I like to add more banana slices, melted mighty maple peanut butter, chocolate chips and maple syrup!!!
We make these to give to neighbors this time of year.
Peanut Butter Bars
1 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup Peanut Butter & Co.’s Smooth Operator peanut butter
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons peanut butter
In a medium bowl, mix together the butter or margarine, graham cracker crumbs, confectioners’ sugar, and 1 cup peanut butter until well blended. Press evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 inch pan.
In a metal bowl over simmering water, or in the microwave, melt the chocolate chips with the peanut butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Spread over the prepared crust. Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares.
Death By Peanut Butter Pie
For the Crust:
-10 graham crackers (crushed)
-1 T flour
-4 T butter (unsalted)
-4 T brown sugar
-6 T Peanut Butter and Co’s Old Fashioned peanut butter
For the Ganache:
-6 ounces semi sweet chocolate
-1/2 cup cream
-4 ounces cream cheese
-1/2 cup Peanut Butter and Co’s Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter
-1/2 cup powdered sugar
-1 tsp vanilla
-2 T milk
-2 cups cream (chilled)
1. To make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie pan. Crush the graham crackers until they are fine crumbs. Put them in a bowl and add the flour; mix well. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter, then stir in the brown sugar and peanut butter. Stir continuously until well mixed. Combine with the crumb mixture in a bowl until evenly mixed. Scrape into the prepared pie pan and press evenly to make a crust. Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Cool on a rack, then refrigerate to chill.
2. To make the ganache: Finely chop the chocolate in a food processor. Put the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Then take the pan off the heat and add the chopped chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. Pour into the pie crust and smooth it over the bottom. Chill the pie again.
3. To make the filling: Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until it is fluffy, scraping down to make sure it has no lumps. Add the peanut butter, powdered sugar and vanilla and beat, scraping down and mixing to make a smooth mixture. Add the milk and beat just to mix well. In a separate large bowl, whip the cream to firm peaks. Gently scoop out 1/2 cup of the whipped cream, being careful not to deflate it. Fold the half cup of cream into the peanut butter mixture in two parts. Spread the peanut butter mixture over the chilled ganache. Refrigerate to chill.
4. Spread 2 cups of the whipped cream evenly over the pie.
5. When serving, garnish with peanut butter and chocolate chips, chocolate sauce, remaining whipped cream, peanut butter cups and Peanut Butter and Co’s Old Fashioned Peanut Butter, as desired.
Congratulations on being the winner of the Peanut Butter & Co.’s gift pack. Please email us your shipping information.
Grandma’s Peanut Soup
3 tablespoons butter
1 small Vidalia onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
3-4 cups hot chicken stock or broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup Peanut Butter & Co.’s Old Fashioned Smooth peanut butter
Juice of 1 lime
Melt butter in saucepan over medium low heat, add onions, celery and carrots and cook for about 10 minutes, until onions become translucent. Add garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Whisk flour into the onion mixture, cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the hot chicken stock. Turn the heat up to medium. While stirring, cook 5 minutes until moderately thickened. Next, whisk in the heavy cream and peanut butter, heat the soup through but do not bring to a boil. Stir in the lime juice. Serve with optional toppings such as chopped toasted peanuts, scallions, cilantro, cayenne or hot sauce. This soup is also delicious served chilled.
Holiday “Pay Day Bars”
– 1 (16 ounce) jar dry UNSALTED roasted peanuts
– 2 tablespoons of LIGHT stick butter
– 1 Cups of White Chocolate Wonderful Peanut butter or any peanut butter of your choice
– 1 can 14 oz FAT FREE sweetened condensed milk
– 2 cups mini marshmallows
– 1/2 cup of Candy corn
– 1/2 cup of Health Milk Chocolate toffee baking pieces.
– 1/2 cup of Orange and Black Reece Pieces OR Halloween Orange and Black M&M’s. I used Reece’s Pieces to add a taste of Peanut Butter!
Or any other of your favorite Holiday candy chopped in small pieces
1) Grease 9×13 pan.
2) Pour enough peanuts on bottom of pan to cover.
3) Melt Margarine and Peanut in microwave safe bowl on high 1 minute, stir and microwave for another minute until everything is one gooey melted mess.
4) Add in Marshmallows and stir, I had to throw it back in the microwave for about 40 seconds to get ALL the Marshmallows to melt
5) Add in condensed milk and stir
6) Pour gooey mixture evenly over peanuts
7) In a small bowl, combine remaining peanuts, candy corn, Reece’s Pieces, Heath topping, and any other appropriate holiday candy and mix them all up Put rest of peanuts in and pat down.
8) Sprinkle the bowl all over the top of the gooey mixture
9) Pat the mixture down with wax
10) Chill for atleast an hour, cut and serve with a childish smile, or….horde them all yourself and love every last bite.
Note, you can change up the mix ins for EVERY Holiday, say use red and green candy for Christmas, Red and Blue for the fourth of July, Pastel Colors for Easter! I just laid out a template and Ill let you guys decide how to get creative! PS, someone needs to make it with their own flair and bring it to thanksgiving!