I’ll be doing an extensive post on boiled peanuts in the near future. In the meantime, here’s a recipe I came up with to serve as an appetizer at our recent BBQ party. I think it went over quite well, since reactions ran from “These are some damned good boiled peanuts!” to “Damn, these are some good boiled peanuts!”
Boiled peanuts are uniquely delicious and really easy to make. So easy, in fact, that if you try to pin down the method of preparation too much (like I did) you’ll just confuse yourself. Don’t worry about overcooking or anything else because boiled peanuts are very, very forgiving; they have a greater margin of error than any food I can think of.
Raw peanuts are sometimes called “green” peanuts, but that only refers to their un-dried state, not their color (the way un-dried wood is called “green”.) In the South, you can buy them in bulk at just about any supermarket or farmer’s market. If you’re outside of the South, you may be able to find raw peanuts at an Asian supermarket, or you can buy them online.
Here’s a photo of the Jalapeno Mesquite Boiled Peanuts below.
2 lbs raw (“green”) peanuts
1/2 cup sliced pickled jalapeno peppers
2 -3 Tbsp mesquite smoke flavoring (use the purest you can find)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup plain salt
1/4 cup seasoned salt
1 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
If the peanuts are dusty, rinse them well. Put them in a large lidded stock pot with the seasonings and add enough water to cover by at least 2 inches (they’ll float, so push them down to check the level.) Some people use a plate to hold the peanuts down while cooking, but I never have and I don’t think it makes much difference.
Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat so that the peanuts remain at a strong simmer. After about 45 minutes, you want to start testing them, and test them every 20 minutes or so after that. They may take an hour to cook or they make take 3 hours; it really depends on how fresh they are, how much moisture they’ve retained, etc., etc. Don’t fret too much because you really have a huge margin of error. Just stir up the pot, take one or two out, let them cool a bit, then split the shell and taste the peanuts. What you’re looking for is a nice texture and flavor. Some folks like them al dente and some like them soft, but it really is up to you. If the texture is right but they’re not quite salty enough, turn the heat off and let them sit in the water for another 20 minutes and taste them again.
If you want to keep them hot but don’t want them any saltier, pour off half the cooking water and replace it with fresh and keep them on a very low heat.
Please join us tomorrow to read our newest feature on HuggingtheCoast.Com.
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