project wedding dessert bar: part 7 (chili lime peanuts)
The nut parade continues with chili lime peanuts because, in my opinion, variety always makes things a little more fun.
I threw peanuts into a bowl, but on a lazier day, I strongly believe these nuts could mix up quite nicely with the spices directly on a rimmed baking sheet. That’s right. One less thing to clean up.
But I didn’t think of that until after the peanuts had already made their way into the bowl. So I went ahead and zested a lime straight in there.
These limes were particularly attached to their juices. After rolling them around, halving them, and squeezing with all my strength, I yielded maybe a drop or two. Things were not looking good.
Luckily, I remembered this lime squeezer a friend brought back from Mexico a few years ago. It shows no mercy, and extracted every drop of juice each lime was good for. And then a drop more just in case the lime had any questions about who was boss.
Add in some chili powder, salt, sugar, and cayenne. Suddenly, things are starting to smell pretty amazing in here. And nothing has even gone into the oven yet.
A quick stir or two to knock the spices around, forcing them to make friends with the peanuts. They might not run together all the time, but maybe they should start seriously considering best foodie friendship.
Lay everything in a single layer on the baking sheet. Cozy, but not too cozy. Want to make sure these nuts get a chance to dry out and toast up, soaking up all the lime juice and chili powder flavor.
Aerial view – mixing up the perspective a little.
Pop the peanuts into the oven. Have a beer or two while waiting for the nuts to toast up – or hold off until the nuts are done because these are particularly delicious with beer.
Pull them out, and presto! Snack attack.
Chili Lime Peanuts (adapted from Serious Eats)
Makes 4 cups
Freshly grated zest of one lime
1/4 c. freshly squeezed lime juice (3 to 4 large limes)
3 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 c. shelled unsalted peanuts
Preheat oven to 250F.
Pour peanuts into a medium bowl. Add lime zest, lime juice, chili powder, salt, sugar, and cayenne pepper. Stir until spices are evenly distributed and peanuts are evenly coated.
Pour peanuts into a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until nuts are fragrant, dry, and beginning to darken, about 30 minutes.
Cool completely. Nuts may be stored in airtight container at room temperature for a few weeks or in freezer for a few months.