This time of year is perfect time for a gathering of friends and family for a Peanut Boil. A few of you may be asking, what is a Peanut Boil? Well, it’s literally what it sounds like. A gathering of friends and family around a huge pot of boiled peanuts. Typically in the back yard or near the barn, a cast iron pot is placed over an open flame, and cooked for hours. Enjoyed with by much laughter, old stories, and sweet tea.
There are a couple of ways you can cook boiled peanuts. I like to use the pressure cooker, instead of the more traditional way of a large pot. Start with fresh, green peanuts. Soak in a sink of cold water for about 10 minutes. Drain, and repeat. This will remove any dirt still left on them from the field. Put them in the pressure cooker, add water to the appropriate fill line, and lots of salt. I’ve seen several recipes that call for different amounts of salt. I tend to not follow a recipe for most things; therefore, I “eyeball it”. Get a box of salt, and start pouring. I make a layer of salt on top of the peanuts, and stop when the peanuts have small mounds of white salt laying on them. Once pressure has built, decrease the temperature, until you have a slow and steady wobble on your pressure gauge, and continue cooking for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, turn the burner off and let them sit. After the pressure has decreased and it is safe to take the lid off, test a peanut. Are they soft enough? This is a personal preference. Some like them mushy, overs like a little crunch, I personally like them soft, like a boiled potato. If they aren’t soft enough, allow them to sit in the hot water for a while longer, or return to The stove and boil (without pressuring) until they’re at the desired consistency. Are they salty enough?, or, like me, did you add too much salt? If they aren’t salty enoug, add more salt and let them sit in the hot water. If they’re too salty, drain, and return to the pot and cover with water. Allow to sit for 20-30 minutes.
When they are soft and salty, drain, allow to cool slightly, and enjoy, with a glass of sweet
tea. And, please don’t eat the shell, like my Indiana family tried to the first time they experienced boiled peanuts. I started with about 2 1/2 pounds of green peanuts. Bruce and Zach enjoyed part of a bag after Church Sunday night. There was enough to put 2 quarts in the freezer for football season. College football must have boiled peanuts somewhere in the tailgate menu. To eat them after they’ve been frozen, thaw, and eat cold, or put them in a pot of water, and bring to a boil to warm.
Saturday, I also picked up a few mangos, and red peppers at our local produce store. While the peanuts were soaking, I made Mango Salsa. Stay tuned later in the week for a recap of this deliciousness.