Saturday, November 8, 2008

Boiled peanuts!

One of the greatest delicacies of the south is boiled peanuts. Now that it's football season, decided to blog the recipe.

Nothing tops sitting out in the bleachers of a high-school or college football game, county fair or concert, chomping away on these salty, delightful wonders! That's what it's all about, my friends!

I decided to use the Boiled Peanuts Recipe from What's Cooking America:

Judging from the many variations on recipes for boiled peanuts, there appears to be no wrong way to boil green [raw] peanuts. The important thing is the many tastings needed to determine when they are done. You must taste test the boiled peanuts for saltiness and firmness, as some people prefer soft nuts to firmer ones.

4 to 5 pounds green (raw) peanuts in shell
4 to 6 quarts water
1 cup plain salt (Daisy's NOTE: Some people use more. You will have to figure out what your salt-quotient is! Paula Deen recommends 1 1/2 cups of salt to 2-3 lbs green peanuts.)

Wash unshelled peanuts thoroughly in cold water until water runs clear; then soak in cool, clean water for approximately 30 minutes before cooking.

In a large pot, place soaked peanuts and cover completely with water. Add 1 cup of salt per gallon of water. Cook, covered, on high heat for 4 to 7 hours.

NOTE: the cooking time of boiled peanuts varies according to the maturity of the peanuts used and the variety of peanuts. The cooking time for a 'freshly pulled" or green peanut is shorter than for a peanut that has been stored for a time.

Boil the peanuts for about 4 hours, then taste. Taste again in 10 minutes, both for salt and texture. Keep cooking and tasting until the peanuts reach desired texture (when fully cooked, the texture of the peanut should be similar to that of a cooked dry pea or bean).

Remove from heat and drain peanuts after cooking or they will absorb salt and become over salted.

Peanuts may be eaten hot or at room temperature, or chilled in the refrigerator and eaten cold, shelling as you eat them.

Freezing boiled peanuts:
Prepare peanuts as indicated above. Drain, allow to cool, and freeze in airtight containers. They keep indefinitely.
The usual southern method is to eat them outside, where you can throw (or spit, if you're hard-core!) the empty shells on the ground.

Excellent for football Saturdays! Enjoy!

PS: This post was also inspired by Jackie's fantastic Peanut Butter post at The Vegan Diet!

Listening to: Howlin' Wolf - Smokestack Lightnin'
via FoxyTunes