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Hot peanuts

You know, the ones you buy in a little plastic tube, outrageously priced at about a dollar an ounce?

Well, maybe less.

I eat them so that I can stay up at night grading, and after seeing red (red #40, that is) as well as being unable to find them in the store, I decided to make my own.
There are plenty of recipes on the internet, but they all involved roasting the peanuts in oil, something I want to avoid.

So I cobbled together the best of the recipes and decided I needed the following:
Garlic or onion salt
garlic or onion powder (whichever the salt was not)
cayenne
vinegar powder
salt

I went to the store and bought store brand dry roasted peanuts in salted and lightly salted varieties. I am pretty sure that they put things in to make the salt stick since the peanuts have less oil. Mine had maltodextrin. I stayed away from the name brand because they sometimes put wheat in theirs. I found a big container of garlic salt - I got this because the flavors will have done the job of combining while it was sitting on the shelf. This is my own mythbelief, you don't have to think it is so. I had onion powder at home, and I bought the cheapest cayenne I could find - Zatarain's.

I heated a griddle and made my mix: unfortunately I didn't measure anything, but luckily this is all to taste. There should be more cayenne than anything else, and the onion I put in later to balance the garlic and salt.

I tried just putting it on the peanuts - major fail. No sticky. Next step was to heat the peanuts gently (#3 on our electric stove) and when they were warm, I put the mixture in and stirred.

Better. But still not sticking enough. I added about 1/4 teaspoon of olive oil and *voila!*
The taste test was a bit of a fail. There was no vinegar powder at the store, so I couldn't add that. I tried a bit more salt and it was passable.

For the second batch, I waited for the nut to sizzle slightly, and then added my mix, which I had amended with the onion powder. I put in a an extra 1/4 teaspoon of olive oil - not sure it worked better - I think 1/4 was enough. When these were well coated, I dribbled in some rice vinegar. Success! The flavor was right though the nuts got a bit wet. I am currently experimenting with adding vinegar, drying the mix and then using that on the nuts.

Ah, but you want to know what the fail was?
Somehow, when scarfing these down, hot pepper seasoning went the wrong place. Don't ask, I don't know. All I know is that suddenly I had the urge to sneeze, and after that I spent some time rinsing places you don't want to know about with tea.

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