Friday, April 29, 2011

Southern Boiled Peanuts

Boiled peanuts are a Southern tradition. The quick googled-research I found is that the history of boiled peanuts goes back to the Civil War, as peanuts were an important nutritional source for the food-scarce troops of the Confederacy. Because boiled peanuts were preserved by salt, they would not spoil in their packs for up to seven days.

I am a Northern transplant down to the South. The first place I ever had Boiled Peanuts was at a Pee Wee football game concession stand nine years ago. I'm sure there is not a Five Diamond rating on that fine establishment, but I really enjoyed them. I was also intimidated to make them myself, but after having them at a friend's birthday party last fall and chatting up the host (Thanks, Frank!), I realized they were not that hard!

Boiled peanuts seemed like the perfect snacky Super Bowl food, as they can sit warm in a slow cooker for a few hours. I also loved the process of boiling them, tasting a few, then boiling them more until they are the perfect soft texture. Anything that I can snack on while I make is much more fun for me! The shells get soggy and you pop out the soft peanuts inside to eat.

I also found in my research that you can freeze boiled peanuts. After I made my first batch of Boiled Peanuts, we had a LARGE quantity leftover, and I wish I would had known to freeze them. Next fall, I'm planning on cooking up some peanuts, then freezing them in smaller quantities as an easy snack to warm up for football 'grazing'.

I am sharing this recipe at The Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap!

Southern Boiled Peanuts
recipe adapted from the Fisher bag of peanuts

5 ounces kosher salt
1 gallon of water
2 pounds raw, natural peanuts (don't buy roasted)

In a large pot, combine the water and salt. Wash and submerge the in-shell peanuts in the water brine. There should be about twice as much water as peanuts, so add more water if you need to. Place a weighted plate on peanuts to keep them submerged. Soak overnight.

Remove weighted plate. Add water as needed to cover peanuts. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 4 hours. Test for taste and texture. Add cooking time in 15 minute increments for softer peanuts. To increase salt flavor, store leftovers in remaining brine.

Creatively Domestic

Simple Cooking | Easy Cooking

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