Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Boiled Peanuts

066It doesn’t get much more southern than boiled peanuts.  You can add them to the list of collared greens, black eyed peas, fried chicken, and catfish to round out the top iconic southern foods.  To find this symbol of the south look no further than the homemade sign on the side of the road directing you to the back of a pick-up truck or the steaming crockpots on a counter in the local gas station.  I am a huge fan and love slurping the peanuts out of the shell and the enjoying the final product whose flavor is soft, salty, spicy and a tinge of sweet that makes a delicious snack.

The origins of boiled peanuts are not truly known and a couple of theories exist.  Some attribute the idea to slaves who would boil the surplus peanuts after harvest and share with friends and family.  Yet others believe it was the Confederate soldiers who first took to boiling peanuts when rations were scarce and boiled peanuts were a good source of nutrition that did not spoil in their canteens if salt was added.  Boiled peanuts are not confined to the United States as you can find them as a popular street food snack in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America.


The key to boiled peanuts is using raw or “green” peanuts (those that have not been roasted).  Simply put them in a pot of salted water and boil until softened.  Salting the water is a key to enhancing the flavor but everything else is up to your personal preference.  Recipes vary and may include hot sauce or Cajun spices for spicy ones or beer and ham hocks for a distinctive flavor. 

Below is the recipe I like to use (but feel free to omit or add anything to the pot).


Ingredients:


2      pounds raw peanuts
1/2   cup salt
1/4   cup Creole seasoning (such as Tony Chachere’s®
1     Tbsp coriander seeds
1     Tbsp fennel seeds

1     Tbsp mustard seed
1     Tbsp whole black peppercorns
1     Tbsp crushed red chile flakes
2     bay leaves


Directions:


In a large pot, combine all ingredients and 1 gallon of water in a large pot; boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally, until peanuts are tender, about 4 hours. Cool in liquid before serving.

Peanuts in a sealed container can last for a week in the refrigerator.

Don't be scared, give these a try!




5 comments:

  1. You are supposed to slurp the peanut out of the shell??? No wonder I didn't like them when I tried them. I guess I didn't read the instructions... :cO

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  2. The cowboy did NOT find boiled peanuts to his liking and I have never enjoyed the things! To each their own!

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  3. Really? Boil for 4 hours? I don't think they can be that good, but I will try.
    Thanks.

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  4. Boiled peanuts are great! We have been buying and eating them all of our lives especially on a hot summer days on the beach with a can of your favorite ice cold beverage. Mom and I just put 2 cups raw green peanuts in a crockpot with a cup of sea salt or kosher salt on high overnight. They also freeze well

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tip on freezing, I never tried that.

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