Spicy peanuts

Yield: 1 Servings

Measure Ingredient
1 pounds Shelled; skinned raw peanuts
1 tablespoon (or so) butter (you don't want them too greasy)
1 teaspoon (give or take) salt
1 teaspoon Black pepper
1 teaspoon Garlic powder
½ teaspoon Ground cumin
\N \N Ground dried chiles to taste and discretion; (a CH guest list?) (I like to use smoked habs or chipotles; yer on yer own here)

Spicy peanuts are a foolproof crowdpleaser at S.B. parties and simple to do. Make plenty as they go fast. This recipe is for 1 pound of peanuts; you'll want to make more for a crowd, doing them in 1-pound batches (or smaller depending on the size of your pan) so's not to crowd 'em in the skillet, thus ensuring uniform browning.

You'll need to get shelled, skinned raw (not roasted) peanuts. Most supermarkets around here (Virginia) carry the blanched ones in cellophane bags, and they work fine. I buy mine in bulk when I make the odd trip to North Carolina's Outer Banks and store them in coffee cans in my pantry or in the freezer.

Cooking times are approximate and spices are flexible; use whatcha like. My usual version goes something like this: Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a heavy cast iron skillet over a low to medium fire. Toss in the peanuts and all the spices and stir thoroughly to coat the peanuts uniformly with butter and spices They don't all have to touch the bottom of the pan, but don't make them too deep unless you want to spend the next 15-20 minutes constantly stirring. You can obviously do them in batches in series (one pan) or in parallel (more than one pan). In any event, stir them frequently, as they usually take a while to start browning but then come on like gangbusters and will scorch if you aren't paying attention. After 15-20 minutes, the peanuts should begin taking on a nice copper tone and are ready to finish cooking in a slow oven. The cooking time is not critical here; the important thing is to get uniform browning and avoid burning them. When you have achieved this, give them another stir and put the skillet on the rack in the middle of your oven.

Open a cold beer and enjoy the pregame hype. You will want to roast the peanuts anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, depending on how you like them, stirring them every 10 minutes. We like them well done, by which time they will have a deep, mahogany hue. This takes 45-60 minutes depending on the accuracy of your oven thermostat and the doneness you have achieved when browning them on the stove. You will want to test them occasionally (more than occasionally when the aroma starts beckoning to you). Be aware that they aren't crisp when hot but become so quickly when allowed to cool.

I have done these entirely on the stovetop (no oven) in a covered skillet, and entirely in the oven (no stovetop) with good results, but the above method works best for me and seems to require less attention to avoid burning.

Posted to CHILE-HEADS DIGEST V4 #279 by "Eggert, Len" <leggert@...> on Jan 22, 1998

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