I was at home enjoying a cold beer after a long week at work when I got to thinking, what snack goes best with beer? Peanuts. Not just regular peanuts though, Cajun boiled peanuts! The kind found at roadside stands, hole in the wall gas stations, and sporting events throughout the southeast United States. My favorite Boiled P-Nut stand is located across the street from the Eagle's Nest bar on SR-44 in Samsula, FL on the way in to New Smyrna Beach. I have friends & family that will drive an hour just to get some Cajun Boiled P-Nuts from this place because they are so good. The only problem is, this boiled p-nut stand is only open on weekends. The solution, learn how to make Cajun boiled peanuts at home in your crockpot. Here is my secret crockpot Cajun boiled peanut recipe-
2 lbs of raw peanuts
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup crushed red pepper flakes
1 oz. concentrated liquid shrimp & crab boil
4 jalapeno peppers (seeds in, sliced into thick rings)
1/2 an onion (quartered)
2 Tbsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1/2 Tbsp. onion powder
1/2 Tbsp. black pepper
cut broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower (optional)*
When you go shopping for peanuts to make boiled peanuts at home, you may have some options. You'll need to buy peanuts in the shell, but make sure they are NOT the dry roasted & salted peanuts that you would find at a baseball game. Your looking for RAW peanuts in the shell. If you happen to live in the southeast United States during the summertime, you might see green peanuts. While some people only use green peanuts to make boiled peanuts, I don't care for them. They are tiny, and just not that available. I purchase Raw Jumbo Virginia Peanuts. Yes, they are a little more work to make boiled peanuts from, but the final product is worth it. I buy my peanuts from my local produce market, but I have also seen them for sale in Publix, Walmart, and Winn-Dixie in the produce section.
After gathering all of your ingredients, you will need to wash your peanuts because nobody likes dirty nuts. Peanuts grow in the dirt, and need to be soaked in a big bowl of water to knock the dirt off. Change the water a few times during this process. Depending on how fresh your peanuts are, they may have a very low water content. Soaking your nuts will help to re-hydrate them some. I let my peanuts soak overnight. You can skip this step, but your cooking time will be increased.
Now, pull out your crockpot. I use a 5 quart pot. It holds 2 pounds of peanuts. If you wanted to make 10 pounds of boiled peanuts for a BBQ, a bonfire, or in my case a family gathering at the beach, you can adjust my recipe, and use an outdoor propane cooker. Fill your pot about 1/4 full with water, and add 1/2 cup of salt, 1/2 cup of crushed red pepper flakes, 4 jalapeno peppers (sliced into rings, leave the seeds in), 1/2 of an onion (quartered), 2 Tbsp. cayenne pepper, 1 Tbsp. garlic powder, 1/2 Tbsp. onion powder, 1/2 Tbsp. black pepper. Crank your crockpot to "High", and stir to dissolve seasonings. This couldn't be a secret recipe without a secret ingredient. The secret ingredient I use to give these Cajun boiled peanuts a kick is Zatarain's Concentrated Liquid Shrimp & Crab Boil. The keyword here is "concentrated". This stuff has a kick! Unlike the dry seasoning, you'll only need to add 1 - 1.5 ounces of the liquid shrimp & crab boil to your water.
Add your raw peanuts to the pot, and fill with water to float the peanuts. The peanuts will float for the first few hours of cooking. I like to place a small plate on top to keep the peanuts down in the water. Put the lid on your crockpot. If you have a hole in the lid, plug it with a small piece of paper towel. Let the peanuts boil on high for 24 hours. You will need to add warm water a few times during the boil to keep the water level up. After 24 hours has passed, sample one of your boiled peanuts. It should be soft, but not mushy. Once your boiled peanuts have reached the desired texture, remove the lid, kill the heat, and let them soak in the brine until the boiled peanuts reach your desired level of heat / saltiness. If you want to kick it up another notch, try adding cut broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower during the soak time for a spicy Cajun veggie treat!
Enjoy your fresh hot & spicy Cajun Boiled P-Nuts with your favorite beer! If you have any leftover boiled peanuts, refrigerate them in a freezer bag for up to 1 week. Leftovers can be warmed up in a bowl of water in the microwave. If your making boiled peanuts for young children or people not fond of spicy foods you can omit the spices, and boil your peanuts with 1/2 cup of salt in the water for plain boiled peanuts.
Now crank up those crockpots, and get to boiling some Cajun Boiled Peanuts! Then come back here, and let me know how they turned out.
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