Thursday, October 7, 2010

Spicy Peanuts

Peanuts are EVERYWHERE in bars in San Miguel.  Some are coated in a yummy crunchy, slightly sweet substance, some are roasted with a little bit of salt, some have chili and lime, and some are spicy and amazing.  I had some that featured little fried garlic chips and dried red peppers and they were awesome.  I know I mentioned wanting to make them for Halloween this year, and then I came across this recipe, which looks like a fantastic jumping off point.

1 egg white
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder

2 cups high quality dry roasted unsalted peanuts
5 dried chiles, optional garnish

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

Whisk egg white until foamy in a medium bowl. Whisk in sugar, water, salt, cumin, cayenne, garlic and ancho powders. Toss nuts in mixture until well coated.

Spray a sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray or line with parchment. Spread nuts out on the prepared pan in a single layer. Cook for 45 minutes until slightly golden, turning nuts with a spatula every 15 minutes so they toast evenly and don't stick.

Set the nuts aside, stirring periodically as they cool. When completely cool, transfer to serving bowl and garnish with dried red chiles if desired.

In my Halloween post, I also mention this simpler recipe here.

2 cups shelled but unsalted blanched peanuts
Freshly ground red chili powder to taste (about 2 full tablespoons) the amount you use will depend on the heat of the chili – and your personal desire for piquancy. This should be a taste as you go kind of recipe.
A Tablespoon of vegetable oil for frying
Salt to taste
Heat the oil in a heavy skillet set over medium. When the oil is hot, add in the peanuts and stir constantly until well roasted and browned. Turn off the heat a bit before the peanuts are done, as the residual heat from the peanuts and pan will continue to cook the nuts for a while. Don't add the chili powder to the peanuts until after you have turned the heat off – as the chili powder can burn. 
Once the nuts have brown-roasted, add in the chili powder to taste, and a good couple of pinches of salt. Stir to mix completely.

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