I'm originally from Georgia, and recently returned from a month-long visit with my relatives. As soon as I get my feet back on some red clay, I immediately start seeking out my favorite Southern delicacies that I can't find in San Francisco. Among these are hot boiled peanuts. One of my cherished past times is driving along winding country roads and stopping at "HOT BOILED P-NUT" stands along the way, and purchasing a paper bag full of addictive, salty, soft peanut snacks. But when I am not in Georgia, I make these tasty treats at home. It's quite easy!
To make hot boiled peanuts, you'll need:
As many raw peanuts in shells as you like - the younger and fresher they are, the better. If they're advertised as "green" - get them.
A stock pot big enough to hold them, plus water
Optional seasonings such as Old Bay Seasoning, chipotle peppers, Cajun spices, etc.
Rinse off the peanuts in cold water to clean them off and remove any lingering dirt and sediment. Add the peanuts to your stock pot and top off with water. Next, measure out the salt. The general rule of thumb is 3 TBSP of salt per pound of peanuts. If you're adding seasonings, add them now. Stir well and bring to a boil. Let boil, covered, for 3 to 4 hours. After 2 hours, grab a peanut out of the water and let it cool. Taste. Adjust salt and/or seasonings if needed. Peanuts are done when the nuts are soft and chewy and the shells easily pry open. Drain and store in fridge. Keeps for a day or two. Serve as a snack with a cold beer or a cold glass of iced tea.
Sense of Place: Southern Flavors and Ingredients
Sense of Place: Southern Food and Cuisine
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(Image: Kara Hudson - thanks!)