Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sneaky Nuts*

In the first few weeks of moving into our house earlier this year, one of the things we planted in the garden was peanuts. We bought a bag full of raw peanuts from a local farmer at the Sunday market and planted some of the nuts.  

For us, peanuts were a slow-growing, very small plant. I didn't hold out great hopes for what they would produce. Even if we didn't get any nuts out of the plants, I figured the nitrogen they produce would be good for conditioning the soil, and the plants would make a good addition to compost. 

Well, we needed to dig up our peanut plants recently because Andy wanted to expand and edge the garden bed, and we were very pleasantly surprised to find all of these sneaky peanuts. Then I read a blog post on Food Feud about spiced nuts, and knew just what to turn these into.

I pulled them off the plant, rinsed off the dirt, and put them onto dehydrator trays to dry out. Then I shelled them - which took ages and made my fingers sore. Then, I roasted them up. In a 160 degree oven (that's about 325F), I toasted them on a baking tray, shaking every now and then, until they smelled nice and started to look toasty. While they were in the oven, I melted together a tablespoon of nuttlex margarine, a tablespoon of brown sugar, two teaspoons of salt, a teaspoon of chilli powder, and a handful - maybe two tablespoons - of fresh thyme leaves (also from our garden). When the nuts were done toasting, I dumped them into a bowl and poured the melty butter-sugar yumminess over and stirred and stirred.

When these cool, they stay sticky. They're sweet, and herby, and then the sneaky chilli powder hits you in the back of the throat. They're all around delicious, and great to have on hand at this snacky time of year.

*If you don't get easily offended, and don't know the Sneaky Nuts reference, here is my cultural reference


Claire said...

HAHA! I read it, giggled and thought I'm such an immature Aussie- she obviously won't mean that- but you did! I can't believe you went there. Love it.
Congrats on your super peanuts :) they look yum!

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Kari said...

I had completely forgotten about that Angry Boys reference :) I am really impressed with your peanut growing though, it has really never occurred to me to try and grow nuts of any sort! I love the sound of your marinade / coating too.

Hannah said...

Okay, this is incredible. Though surely with your love of all things tropical-Australian-local-mango-y, macadamias will be next? :)

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Laura said...

Haha, love the angry boys reference :D