PEANUTS, PEANUT BUTTER, Etc.
Making your own peanut butter is very simple. All you need is a grinder or a food processor/blender.
"OLD FASHIONED" PEANUT BUTTER
Homemade peanut butter is easily made with an electric blender or a food processor. The longer you blend or process, the softer the peanut butter will be. Storage: Store in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator. Oil may rise to the top, if this occurs, stir before using.
Directions for Using an Electric Blender
1 cup roasted shelled peanuts (with or without red skins)*
1 1/2 teaspoons peanut oil
1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if salted peanuts are used)
Place ingredients in blender. With the lid secured, blend until mixture becomes paste-like or spreadable (3 to 4 minutes). If necessary, stop the machine and use a rubber spatula to scrape mixture from the sides of the container and back into contact with the blades. Continue blending until desired consistency is reached.
Note: For crunchy style peanut butter stir in 1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts after the blending is completed.
Directions for Using a Food Processor:
2 cups roasted shelled peanuts* (with or without red skins)
1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if salted peanuts are used)
Using the metal blade, process ingredients continuously for 1 to 3 minutes. The ground peanuts will form a ball which will slowly disappear. Continue to process until the desired consistency is obtained. If necessary, stop machine and scrape sides of container with a rubber spatula.
Note: For crunchy style peanut butter stir in 1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts after the processing is completed.
*Peanuts with red skins may be used. (Do not confuse skins with outer shells!)
Homemade peanut butter can be kept up to six months in the refrigerator, but is best used within 2 weeks, so only make what you need for a short period of time (don\'t make a six month supply and stick it in the fridge). With homemade peanut butter, the oils tend to separate with storage, so you may need to mix it up a bit with a knife to reblend the oils when you use it. Some sites recommend periodically turning the jar in the fridge upside down to redistribute the oils.
Besides peanut butter, I make a veggie burrito and veggie spaghetti sauce, and both of them are improved by the addition of a handful of roasted peanuts. And here are three recipes from my online Better Times cookbook (www.justpeace.org/better.htm) for hot peanuts, Oklahoma peanuts, and beer nuts.
2 tbsp red pepper
4 garlic cloves
1 tsp chili powder
3 tbsp oil
dry unsalted shelled peanuts.
Heat crushed red pepper in oil for one minute. Crush garlic and add to oil, add peanuts. Cover over medium heat for five minutes. Remove from heat, add salt and chili powder. Drain on paper towels
1-1/2 cup nuts
½ cup sugar
½ tsp vanilla
2 tbsp butter
Line a baking sheet with greased foil. In a heavy skillet, combine nuts, sugar, butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for eight minutes or until sugar melts and turns a rich brown color. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Spread onto prepared baking sheet. Cool, break into small clusters, store tightly covered. Variation: add "pumpkin pie spices" (cinnamon, ground cloves, ground allspiece).
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp maple flavoring
½ cup water
shelled raw peanuts (about a pound)
Combine all ingredient in saucepan. Cook until liquid is gone (about 10 to 15 minutes). Spread on a greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
To maintain best eating quality, store peanuts in a cool dry place and below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Peanuts keep fresh indefinitely stored in a tightly closed container in the freezer.
Conventional Oven Roasting ("Parching")
place raw peanuts, in-shell or shelled, one layer deep in a shallow baking pan. Roast in a 350 degrees F. oven - 15 to 20 minutes for shelled and 20 to 25 minutes for in-shell peanuts. (Remove from heat just short of doneness desired, as peanuts continue to cook as they cool.)
Microwave Oven Roasting - Shelled Peanuts
Place 2 cups raw shelled peanuts in a 10X6 inch glass or similar microwave container. Dot with butter or margarine. Microwave on high for two minutes. Stop. Stir peanuts. Continue to microwave two minutes at a time - followed by stirring until peanuts have been microwaved10 minutes for light roast; 12 minutes for regular roast. Remove from microwave. Season to taste.
Caution: peanuts continue to cook as they cool. Cooking time may vary with oven
Oil Roasting (French Frying)
2 cups raw shelled red skins or blanched peanut
1 2/3 cups peanut oil or enough to cover peanuts
In an electric skillet, deep fryer or heavy saucepan heat oil to 350 degrees F. Add peanuts and cook, stirring occassionally, for about 5 minutes or until just under doneness desired (they continue to cook as they cool). Drain on paper. Season to taste.* *Seasonings to complement freshly roasted shelled peanuts include salt, seasoned salt, popcorn salt, onion salt or powder, garlic salt or powder, paprika, chili powder and parmesan cheese.
More peanut recipes: www.texaspeanutboar.com/recipe.html
The skins on raw peanuts may be removed by either of the following methods:
Freeze shelled raw peanuts several hours or overnight: remove a few at a time from the freezer; slip skins off with fingers. Roast shelled raw peanuts in a 350E F. oven for 3 to 5 minutes; remove from oven and cool slightly, rub between fingers to remove skins.
Water blanch by placing shelled raw peanuts, a few at a time, into boiling water. Allow to stand for about 3 minutes, drain. Remove skins with fingers. Spread on paper to dry.
DIXIE PEANUT BRITTLE
Stove top method
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups raw shelled peanuts, skins on
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons baking soda
Heat sugar, syrup, water and salt to a rolling boil in a heavy saucepan. Add peanuts. Reduce heat to medium and stir constantly. Cook to hard crack stage ( 300-310° F.). In the absence of a candy thermometer, test for hard crack stage by dropping a tiny bit of syrup into ice water - let it thread from a spoon into the water - when the threads are brittle, not pliable, it has reached the hard crack stage. Add butter, then baking soda. Beat rapidly and pour on a buttered surface spreading to 1/4-inch thickness. When cool break into pieces. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 2 pounds.
Microwave oven method (700 watt oven)
1-1/2 cups raw shelled peanuts, skins on
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
Combine peanuts, sugar, syrup, and salt in a 1-1/2 quart microwave safe container. Microwave 4 minutes on HIGH; stir, microwave 4 minutes longer. Stir in butter and vanilla. Microwave 2 minutes longer on HIGH. *** Add baking soda and quickly stir until light and foamy. Immediately pour onto lightly greased baking sheet; spread to 1/4-inch thickness. When cool break into pieces. Store in airtight container. Makes about 1 pound.
***Note: Any cooking time adjustments necessary for lower or higher than 700 watt ovens must be made BEFORE adding baking soda.
Practical helps for the sustainable kitchen
Oklahoma Food Recipes