Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Boiled Peanut Hummus

So, there must be some thing about boiled peanuts.  As in, only Southerners like them.  Or at least that's what my perception was after having eaten some boiled peanuts at a friend's house recently.  He offered me some and then said, "Do you like boiled peanuts?  Most Northerners don't."  Well first of all let me start by saying I'm not like most Northerners.  I love the North.  I love where I'm from.  I spent 25 years of my life in the North (half in Pittsburgh and half in West Virginia, which sorry WV, I consider you North after living in the South).  But now that I've spent time in the South, I realize that I have always been a Southern girl trapped in the body of a Yankee.  I don't do the cold.  I love grits, cornbread, greens, country ham, pimento cheese, chow chow and fried pickles.  I prefer gravy on my fries to ketchup, I say ya'll, and I suck the head when I eat crawfish.  And...I like boiled peanuts.  

But...they do have to grow on you.  The first time I tried one I was turned off by the texture and the wetness.  But you get past that.  Boiled peanuts are raw peanuts or green peanuts.  You can't just buy roasted peanuts and boil them.  You have to get them raw and then boil them.  (I found raw peanuts at SuperLo in Memphis.  Never seen them anywhere else in the city.)  

Here's How You Do It:
Put your peanuts in a large stock pot.  Cover with water (you are going to have to place something on them so they are all submerged).  Add in 1/2 cup of kosher salt, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, 1 tablespoon of onion powder, 1/2 tablespoon of crushed red pepper flakes and 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.  Add in more of anything you like, some people use Old Bay, etc.  Cover your peanuts with another pot or bowl to weight them down and then wait.  For EVER.  I'm not kidding.  You have to boil them for about 7 hours.  So do this on a rainy day.  We usually start testing our peanuts after about 6 hours.  This is when you want to adjust your seasoning.  We added more salt.  Yes I know, seems like a lot.  But boiled peanuts are salty.  When they are done, you want them to be creamy.  Not like mush creamy.  But like kidney bean creamy with a slight snap (or al dente) still left in the peanut.  That's it.  That's boiled peanuts.  They are addicting as all hell.
Peanuts boiling under a bowl so they cook evenly.

finished product - boiled peanuts
Boiled Peanut Hummus:
1 cup of boiled peanuts (shelled)
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of tahini (use peanut or almond butter if you don't have tahini)
Juice from the half of 1 lemon (I used lime in this recipe and it was still awesome)
1/4 cup of olive oil
Cayenne to taste (unless you added in a bunch of cayenne to your peanuts, which we did, so we didn't have to season with anything other than pepper)

Mix everything in a food processor.  Add in water until you get it to the consistency you like.  I like mine to have some body.  And serve with veggies, tortilla chips, etc.  It is SOOOOO good that I eat half of it just testing for the right seasoning.  And now I'm not hungry for dinner because I just ate a ton of boiled peanut hummus.  Don't be afraid to try it.  In fact...if you are afraid of trying boiled peanuts, start with boiled peanut hummus.  Because you will be FLOORED by how good it is, and then those little boiled peanuts won't be so weird anymore.  TRUST ME! 

This recipe is inspired by Hugh Acheson's cookbook A New Turn in the South.  You know Hugh Acheson.  The uni-brow chef.  He's weird.  And I love him for it.  And he makes a bad ass boiled peanut hummus.  And if it weren't for him, I'd never have eaten it.  And I wouldn't be about to go finish it all off right this very second.       

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