Prep 72 hrs
Cook 30 mins
My husband loves salted peanuts in the shell but often, by the time they reach the grocery store, they are stale. Living in the South, my local produce market sells raw roasting peanuts. And voila, after some experimentation, we've got an amazing snack. It's not hard to make, the actual roasting time is 30 minutes, but getting to that stage just takes time - days, in fact, unless you've got a food dryer-dehydrator, perhaps. But, if you can get your hands on fresh raw peanuts, it's worth the wait. Do not think that you can bring the nuts home from the store and much on them during your movie the same night. It won't work.
- Heat the water to boiling. I use our electric water boiler which holds 7 cups, so need to do it in two batches. In a large, 5-6 quart, heat safe container, dissolve the salt in the water. Add the peanuts, stirring so that everyone is submerged and coated with the brine. Take a plate or pie pan and set it on top of the floating peanuts to make sure they stay that way. Stir them once every hour over the next 5 hours.
- After 5-6 hours, pour off the water using a colander or strainer and rinse slightly. You'll be amazed at how much dirt has come off of them, but they are a natural product grown in the soil. And in my case, the produce market is somewhat "open air" and the bins are not covered, so the birds like to sort through them for loose nuts. You'll want to get the dirt off, but if you over rinse, you'll also remove too much of the salt.
- On two half-sheet pans, it might take more if you have smaller cooking sheets, place a baking cooling rack in side. I use ones that have both the vertical and horizontal wires. Divide the peanuts between the racks and allow them to dry. Depending on the relative humidity of the house, this could take the better part of 2-3 days. Stir occasionally. You might be able to speed this up with a food dehydrator or placing them in front of a fan.
- When the nuts are dry, remove the baking racks from the pans. Put the racks in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Roast for 25-30 minutes, stirring at the 15 minute mark. Check them at 25 and again at 30, depending on how roasted you like them. I have a smallish oven, so do them on two racks, and also switch racks at the 15 minute mark. The nuts roast best when they are in a single layer.
- If you want to roast them without salt, you must still wash the nuts, but as they are not soaked in the brine, they will take less time to dry out.
- If you wanted to make "hot" or spicy nuts, some liquid hot sauce into the brine would work, but I've not had that request, so can't tell you how much to use.
- This amount of brine could actually handle another pound of peanuts, but 2 pounds is about all we can eat in a reasonable amount of time.
- Also, 1/3 cup of peanuts, out of the shell is considered 1 serving. I have no idea how many peanuts in the shell would give you 1/3 cup!