bits and pieces

Friday, October 28, 2011

Mexican Chili Sugared Peanuts

This is a super easy recipe and it’s also super delicious. 

Unfortunately it’s also moderately traumatic. For those of you who have not cooked with a lot of chiles or spices before – bewarned: heating peppers, cayenne, or spicy spices can sometimes result in what can basically be described as gassing yourself with kitchen spices. The spices toast, they fill the air with spiciness, you breathe them in, and you choke and cough. This recipe is no exception. The end result is tasty enough that I have now gassed myself 3 times in the last month to make these tasty treats.

I don’t know how people do this in industrial/professional kitchens. The staff must hate it. I know my cat does. 

Asphyxiation or not, these peanuts are yummy to eat as a snack, are somewhat healthier than chips, and are nice to have out while watching football or while patient guests are waiting for a tasty dinner.

3 tbsp white sugar
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup of peanutz
A wedge of lime to squeeeeeeze over the end result.

other things you will need: 
a large-ish sized frying pan
a wooden spoon/unmeltable spatula
a cutting board/baking tray to cool the finished product on

  1. In a clean dry frying pan, toss your peanuts over medium high heat for a few moments to get them toasty, nutty and lightly browned. Set aside.
  2. Combine your sugar, salt and cayenne. Add to the same pan and let the sugar start to melt. This will take a few minutes and your world will be filled with poisonous cayenne fumes. Cough and stir, cough and stir. Just don’t cough on the spice mixture.
  3. Once the sugar has melted – you’l l be able to tell by how little you can breathe and by the bubbling dark mess that is now in your frying pan – add the peanuts and toss/stir until they’re coated with the sugary, spicy goodness. Once they’re good and coated, remove from heat and dump them out on a tray or cutting board or plate or something. Allow to cool.
  4. Break up any peanut chunks that have formed and taste. Add sprinkle with a little more salt if necessary. Squeeze lime over top and enjoy.

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