Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Vegan MoFo Day 14: Boiled Peanuts

If one is driving through rural areas of the Carolinas and Georgia (as I often am), boiled peanuts are available to sustain one on the journey. Taking the back way from Asheville to Atlanta, there is a boiled peanut and fruit stand every mile or so. The proprietor hands them over, hot and dripping in salty brine, encased in a plastic bag. Shelling, eating, and a delicious mess follow.

As this is a food I associate with car trips, it is very rare that I make it at home. However, one of my coworkers received some raw (or "green" peanuts) in her weekly Community Supported Agriculture box, and did not want them. I greedily snapped them up and decided to make boiled peanuts. Most directions say that you should soak them in cold water for 20-30 minutes, and then rinse. I think this is primarily for cleaning purposes.

Having rinsed, put the poor little peanuts into a crockpot, cover with water, and add 1 cup salt for every gallon of water. You can also add spices if you like - a big spoon of Cajun seasoning will nuclearize a whole pot of peanuts. Put the lid on, turn heat to high (if your crockpot has a setting) and let 'er run. I did mine overnight - probably 10-11 hours - and they were about right.

Any that aren't slurped up hot from the pot can be stored in the refrigerator in brine, and reheated as desired. People seem to love or hate boiled peanuts. If you want to try them and you aren't in the South (and aren't growing peanuts in your back yard), look for raw peanuts at Asian markets. I have seen them in Nashville at the K&S World Market on Nolensville Road.


Bianca said...

I LOVE BOILED PEANUTS!!!!! I'm actually including my dad's cherished boiled peanut recipe (a spicy Cajun one) in my cookbook's appetizer section.

We didn't see 'em much growing in Arkansas. But on a family trip to New Orleans awhile back, we passed a stand in Mississippi. My dad and I were instantly hooked (my mom wasn't into it). As soon as we got home, he came up with his own recipe.

Amey said...

John Plummer!!!!!! How is it possible that I only just discovered your wonderful blog. I love love love boiled peanuts. Out here in California, they are 100% unavailable. I can get fresh peanuts at the farmers market ... and in fact I got some JUST THIS MORNING. I usually boil them on the stove top, but I think I'll try your crockpot technique tonight. Great idea!

I've got family from North Carolina, which is where I first had boiled peanuts. Since then, I have become quite a fan, and every time I go to the south, I seek out peanut opportunities!

:) amey