If forced to choose between rigid daily meals or all-day grazing I would gladly pick the latter. Our family is a snacking clan, perpetual plates of cookies on the counter, bags of dates and chocolate and nuts tucked into every bag/purse/pack/pocket. I’m never too far away from food.
And now I have a new snack to add to my arsenal. Lest your noshing should become tedious, make these chili roasted peanuts today. Somewhere in the world it must still be Winter (NYC seems to have reached Spring without the interloping snowy season) and I imagine that a handful of these spicy bites would melt away the frost from your nose and put you in the mood to dance. Or at least gab at a bar all night.
Better yet-invite 10 friends to bring beer to your house. You can put out a choice log of salami and a plate of pickles but make sure to liberally scatter your living room with bowls of the chili peanuts. As the night wears on and old friends become older, prepare for the onslaught of compliments over your home roasted bar-snack. Your house will be the new neighborhood hotspot.
Free of Gluten, Dairy, and Eggs.
(Scale up or down as necessary, I never make less than 2 pounds)
- 1 small puck Palm Sugar (~1/3 cup, use granulated palm sugar if you can’t find the pucks)
- ¼ cup Sambal Oelek (or your favorite chili paste)
- Juice and Zest of one Lime
- 2 ½ tablespoons Tapioca or Corn Starch
- 1 ½ teaspoons Salt
- 1 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 1 pound Roasted Unsalted Peanuts
- ¾ cup Shredded, Unsweetened Coconut
- Fill a small bowl with warm water and add the puck of palm sugar, this will help it soften so you can mash it later. If you’re working with granulated palm sugar, skip this step.
- Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.
- In a large bowl whisk together the chili paste, lime juice+zest, corn starch, salt and pepper.
- Add the softened palm sugar and mash it into the chili mixture, make sure to break up any and all large clumps. This will require some arm strength, work it out.
- Stir in the peanuts, making sure to incorporate all of the chili liquid (yes, get the pool at the bottom of the bowl).
- Add the coconut to your bowl and stir once more, giving your peanuts a festive outfit.
- Pour the peanuts into a roasting dish or onto a cookie tray. The important thing here is to make sure they’re in one layer. If you need to use two dishes/trays to give the peanuts enough room, do it. Nothing worse than soggy nuts.
- Roast the nuts for at least an hour, or until they’re golden and toasted. You can stir them every 15 minutes if you’re the fidgety type. I usually give them a shake at 30 minutes to make sure everyone’s tanning evenly. Beware of uneven oven temps- if one corner is hotter than others you’ll definitely want to scrape the tray and stir a few times during the roasting.
- Remove the peanuts from your oven and let them cool before serving. The coconut will crisp up as it cools. Put the nuts in a bowl and crack open a beer.