Boiled Peanuts
September 9, 2007, 11:24 pm
Filed under: in the kitchen

My excitement when I saw green peanuts (dirt still flaking from the hulls!) at the farmer’s market on Friday cannot be described. I’d long resigned myself to not having fresh boiled peanuts again until I returned to the southeast for good. But suddenly here was the elusive, necessary ingredient, well within reach at $2 a pound. I nearly knocked a woman over in my quest to get greedy handfuls of them in a bag, ASAP.

Saturday morning I washed and soaked them. Rather than monitor a gas range for 6 hours, I put them in a crockpot on high and left them til evening. In the process of putting the finished product in the fridge, I ate about a third of them, stinging the tips of my fingers on the hot shells. This morning I had half of what was left. They’re like Cheez-Its: once you have a few, the saltiness demands you keep shoveling them in. It’s really a little bit of sodium bliss right there at your kitchen counter.

A good boiled peanut will have a slightly soft shell that cracks in half immediately when you press your thumb against the ridge. Salty water will trickle down your finger as you pry the shell open to reveal a pair of moist, plump peanuts the color of a pearly steamed oyster. I tend to crack the shells with my teeth, so the salt water ends up in my mouth, and as I dug into the ones this morning, it occured to me this bursting of savory liquid could be the source of my long held adoration of pani puri.

Anyhow, I’m in southern-girl heaven at the moment, and shall be for quite some time as the lady at the stall where I bought the peanuts said they should have them right up until November.

To make your own, I recommend the instructions right here.

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