“Solo sal, honey,” was my dad’s response when I inquired about the ingredients to his boiled peanuts recipe the other day. Just salt? That and water and…that’s it?
I grew ecstatic. Not only from my enthusiasm for making a snack so simple in nature but also from my insatiable desire to eat something that I hadn’t had the gustatory pleasure of in years. Back home, we didn’t have boiled peanuts often but when we did it was a treat. I can remember the house take on a warm, musky, saliferous scent that lingered all day long, that which to some, might be perceived as mildly offensive; I thought it to be extremely delightful.
My favorite method of eating this is to shuck the shell and slurp the briny, softened nut encased within, just as I would a fat oyster. We enjoyed this at the table; on the couch; outside, with lots of company and plenty of drink. And by the way, this would be a perfectly unexpected nibble for your Super Bowl party that’s coming up next weekend. Just sayin’…
Boiled salted peanuts
Makes enough for about 4-6 people to snack on all night long
1 pound raw peanuts (sometimes called “green” peanuts)
1/2 cup coarse salt
8 cups water
Rinse the peanuts very well and let them soak in clean, cold water for at least 30 minutes. Rinse again and dump into a large stock pot, fill with the 8 cups of fresh water and salt. Stir together and turn up the heat to high. Once it comes to a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low, cover, and let it go for about 3 1/2 – 4 hours, depending on how soft they are when you check them on occasion. I like my boiled peanuts with a very slight crunch to them. You shouldn’t have to replenish the water but if it does start to get alarmingly low before they’re done cooking, add another cup of water. Also, if they’re not as salty as you’d like after they’re done cooking, keep them in the salted water for another hour or so and they should absorb more of the brininess. At this point they’re ready to be enjoyed but if you want to keep them for later, store them with their cooking liquid into a tight-lidded container and stash in the fridge. This should keep for several days.
Looking for more Super Bowl fare? Check these out: