Cook's Corner: peanut recipes rare but worth trying

Published 10:10 am Wednesday, October 1, 2008

By by Lisa Tindell
I promised to share more recipes using peanuts this week. The truth is, I may have bitten off a little more than I can chew.
I began looking for recipes using peanuts and with the exception of boiled peanuts, every other recipe I found using peanuts called for roasted ones.
I included a recipe for peanut brittle last week that calls for raw peanuts. Of course, if the peanuts are a little dry, that makes the brittle even better.
In my search for peanut recipes, I found it very difficult to find recipes for raw peanuts. As a matter of fact, in all of my searching I found only two recipes that call for uncooked peanuts. Again, these recipes may turn out better of the raw peanuts are dry.
The first recipe is one for fried peanuts. The result will be similar to a roasted peanut and can probably be used in much the same way as a roasted peanut. The difference with this is when you take it from the oil; you could sprinkle any number of seasonings on the nuts along with or instead of salt. Some ideas include Cajun seasoning, garlic salt, onion salt, or any combination of seasonings that you like.
Deep-Fried Peanuts
Peanut oil
Raw peanuts
Fill deep-fat fryer or large saucepan half full of peanut oil. Preheat the oil to 350 degrees. Fill frying basked half full of raw peanuts and submerge in hot oil. Let fry until peanuts start to turn light brown. Peanuts will continue cooking after they are removed from heat. Be careful not to overcook. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Serve warm or store in glass containers with airtight lids.
This next recuoe is one that I found in a very old cookbook that Lynn, our office manager, brought for me to look through. Her grandmother, Lessie Mills, previously owned it. As a matter of fact, the copyright is 1937.
Sometime in the near future I plan to share some of those old recipes with you in this space. There are some good stories wrapped up in those recipes.
The recipe I'm sharing this week said to cook the wafers in a “moderate” oven. The consensuses from my sources say that a moderate oven is about 350 to 375 degrees. You be the judge of which temperature you want to use for this recipe.
Peanut Wafers
? cup shortening
2 cups flour
2 cups chopped dry peanuts
? cup sugar
Cream sugar and shortening until creamy. Add flour and peanuts and stir to combine ingredients well. Spread batter in a thin layer in a 15×9 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
There are also a lot of recipes that use peanut butter as a main ingredient. If you're interested in making your own peanut butter, it's not a difficult task and turns out beautifully most every time I've tried it. I'm not sure if the fried peanuts would work in this recipe, but it may be worth a try. I think maybe you could decrease the amount of added oil if you decide to use the fried peanuts instead of roasted ones.
Homemade Peanut Butter
1 1/2 c. unsalted roasted peanuts
1 tbsp. peanut oil
For smooth peanut butter: Mix the peanuts with the peanut oil, and pour the mixture into the food processor. Process the mixture until it's very smooth. Store your smooth peanut butter in a sealed container in the fridge. It will be good for 2 weeks.
For chunky peanut butter: Take about 1/4 cup out of your 1 1/2 cups of peanuts and set them aside. Mix the rest of the peanuts with the oil, and pour the mixture into the food processor. Process the mixture until it's very smooth, then stir in the peanuts that you had set aside. Process a few seconds more to create the chunks in your chunky peanut butter. Store your chunky peanut butter in a sealed container in the fridge. It will be good for 2 weeks.
If you want to use some of your homemade peanut butter, this recipe will be a good one to it in. I've seen a lot of recipes for peanut butter pie, but this one is about the easiest one I've ever seen or had.
Easy Peanut Butter Pie
8 ounce package cream cheese
1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup milk
1 (16 ounce) package frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crusts
Beat together cream cheese and confectioners' sugar. Mix in peanut butter and milk. Beat until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon into two 9 inch graham cracker pie shells; cover, and freeze until firm.
I hope you get a chance to try out some of the peanut recipes. Not only are peanuts good, they are good for you in many ways.
With October moving right along, it's time to start thinking about pumpkins. Next week I plan to share some interesting recipes using pumpkin. In everything from pies and cookies to soups and breads, pumpkin can be a very versatile ingredient.
If you have a pumpkin recipe you'd like to share, I'd love to hear from you. I'll be sure to give you credit for any recipe you submit. You can give me a call at 867-4876 or drop me a line by email at lisa.tindell@brewtonstandard.com. You could even drop by the office for a visit if you'd like.
Until next week, happy cooking.