Boiling Peanuts at Home
The characteristics of boiled peanuts are different from those processed by any other method. The kernels have a firm, slightly gelatinous texture, are moist yet crunchy, with a mild nutty flavor. The seed coats are gray in color with prominent veins. Boiled peanuts may be served as they are, as a party or between meal snack, used to add flavor and crunch to salads, casseroles, poultry stuffing or other prepared dishes. They are also an excellent ingredient replacement for water chestnuts.
Raw In-Shell Peanuts
Preparation : Wash and place in-shell peanuts in a suitable container to soak (glass, enamel, ceramic, plastic); cover with medium brine --10 ounces salt to one gallon of water -- use about twice as much water as peanuts. Place a weighted plate on the peanuts to keep them submerged. Soak overnight. Remove plate. Add water as needed to cover the peanuts. Cook by one of the following methods:
Bring the peanuts to a boil; reduce heat to simmer and continue to cook for 4 hours. Test for doneness to see if texture and saltiness are suitable. Add to cooking time in 30 minute increments if softer peanuts are desired. Allow to remain in brine to increase saltiness. Drain as soon as desired texture and degree of saltiness is achieved.
Cook soaked peanuts on low for 8 hours and then on high for 1-1/2 hours. Test for doneness; increase cooking time as needed to achieve desired texture and saltiness.
When cooked, drain and serve hot as a snack, or allow to cool, then shell and use the peanut kernels to add flavor and zip to salads, casseroles, and dressing to accompany pork, poultry and other prepared dishes.
Any peanuts not eaten immediately may be stored in the refrigerator for several days.
Freezing Boiled Peanuts
Prepare peanuts as indicated above in either "Boiled Peanuts" recipe. Drain, allow to cool, then freeze in airtight containers. They keep indefinitely.
Canning Boiled Peanuts
Prepare peanuts and brine the same as boiling for immediate use. Pack peanuts into jars to within one-half inch of the top, using equal weights of peanuts and hot brine (212 F). Partially submerge containers in upright position in boiling water for ten minutes. Seal while hot and process 45 minutes at ten pounds pressure. Cool containers in water, label, and store away from heat.