On the snacking menu for tonight – Boiled Peanuts!
Boiled peanuts are definitely one of those things that get really mixed results when you mention them. “What are boiled peanuts?” “That sounds gross…” “Yum! If you are from the South, you’ve likely had had boiled peanuts. If you are from the South and haven’t had boiled peanuts, please mail your Southern card to… I’m just kidding.
Seriously though, if you are from the South, even if you haven’t tried boiled peanuts, you HAVE seen the roadside stand with the guy sitting next to a half barrel or converted beer keg sitting over a low burning fire filled with boiled peanuts. You buy some, and the guy ladles out your peanuts into a styrofoam cup. I mentioned the ladle. The ladle used to get the peanuts is something to watch out for as your purchase is being prepared. It’s almost always a jerry-rigged device with holes drilled in so the water from the barrel or keg can drain as they get your boiled peanuts.
Oh, definitely strike up a conversation with the person at the stand. For me, half the fun of the drive to wherever it is I’m going is stopping to get some boiled peanuts and chatting with the person at the stand. You may also buy some fresh fruit, produce, and / or BBQ as well before you continue on your way.
If you’ve never tried boiled peanuts, I hope the next time you plan to have people over for a game or the holidays you will make a batch of boiled peanuts for your guests to snack on.
Filtered / Bottled Water (tap water has chlorine and other chemicals that don't taste so great)
Spread out the peanuts from the bag and remove any rotten or moldy peanuts
Fill a crockpot about 3/4 full with peanuts
Pour in enough water in to the crockpot that the peanuts begin to float and then pour some more. The water will evaporate, so I fill it as high as I can but still able to close the lid
Pour in 4 palm-fulls of Kosher salt and stir it in. If you have never made them before, start with 3 palm-fulls if you are nervous they will be too salty
Set the crockpot on high for 4 hrs.
Once the 4 hrs are up, lower the temperature to low and let it go another 4 - 5 hrs. At the 4 hour mark, taste a few to see if they are the consistency you want. I like mine with a little bite to them... too mushy and you can't get them out of the shell.
Once finished, cut the heat, drain, and transfer to another container.
They are great hot, warm, or even cold. They store well in the fridge a few days, if they last that long.
You can add flavorings too. You can add some sliced jalapeno, or hatch chilies, or Old Bay Seasoning.
When I've done Old Bay, I'll add two spoonfuls (like a cereal spoon) of the Old Bay at the beginning with the salt
Since I’m making this for 4th of July, I wanted to make something more special than sour cream and French Onion Soup mix. This dip has lots of onion, some shallots, and garlic along with sour cream, cream cheese and some other ingredients.
It takes some time to get the onions, shallots, and garlic cooked down, so plan to spend some time watching the onions so they caramelize all over. Once they are done to your liking, cut the heat and let them cool.
While the onions cook, you can assemble the cold ingredients in a big bowl. Once the onions are cooled off, gently fold in the onion mixture and let it rest in the fridge at least an hour before serving.
On the Menu tonight – Spicy Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas!
When I saw Katie Lee Biegel make this on The Kitchen, I had to add this one to my Superbowl menu instead of chicken wings. There is a lot of help from the store in this recipe too, which makes it a great dish to make anytime because it comes together so fast. By using a rotisserie chicken, you simply pull the meat off the bones and chop it to bite-sized pieces. Mix in the shredded Monterey Jack cheese with the chicken in a large mixing bowl. When the buffalo sauce is ready, mix a cup of that in as well.
With the buffalo chicken mixture ready, you are ready for assembly. When Katie made her version, she cut the enchiladas into pinwheels. I did about half of the enchiladas into pinwheels and the rest simply cut the enchiladas in half. The pinwheels are great for a party and the half-sized pieces are great for lunch or dinner. Once all the enchiladas are assembled, pour the rest of the buffalo sauce over them along with the rest of the shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Bake them and serve with the finely shredded iceberg lettuce along with crumbled blue cheese and either blue cheese or ranch dressing.
Now that you have the technique down, you can modify it to an endless variety of enchiladas. I hope you will try this version and let me know what you think.
On the menu tonight – Smoked Kielbasa and Irish Cheddar Cheese Crescent Rolls!
These are a variation of pigs in a blanket. When I was shopping the other day, they totally got me with the samples. I sampled both the smoked kielbasa and Irish Cheddar. I had already planned on making something with crescent rolls, but once I tried these things, the menu changed.
This dish goes together really quickly. All you need to do is prep the ingredients, have the oven pre-heated, and the sheet pan ready. Roll out the crescent dough, spread a layer of mustard on it, add the kielbasa and cheese, then roll dough as you would if you were making plain crescent rolls. Bake per package instructions, but check them before you take them out. Because you are wrapping up some other ingredients, you may need an additional 5-10 minutes to allow that inner dough to finish cooking.
Serve right away. These rolls are good hot or cold and would make a great picnic dish. Also, think breakfast. You could fill these with other fillings like bacon and cheese. I bet a little scrambled eggs with some ham and cheese would be fantastic.
I hope you will make these rolls for your next party.
After seeing this made on The Kitchen, I knew that I was going to make it. Difficulty level – Easy.
For my version, I made my own pulled pork. However, you could take a shortcut and buy the prepared pulled pork to make it even easier. I used brioche slider buns. If you haven’t bought slider buns before, they come attached and you have to break them apart. For this dish, you don’t break them apart. Slice the entire sheet of buns like you are making one giant sandwich – which you kind of are.
Put the bottom half of the buns in the casserole dish, slather some yellow mustard, then a layer of pulled pork, then a layer of ham, a slice of Swiss cheese, and finally some sliced pickle. I used spicy pickles to add a little kick to the sliders. Slather the top half of the buns with some more yellow mustard and then place on top of the “sandwich”. I used a pastry brush to paint melted garlic butter on top before putting them in the oven.
Bake, covered, for about 20-25 minutes, uncover and bake an additional 5 minutes. Serve with the rest of your Superbowl Sunday spread. I hope you will try my version of Cubano Slider Casserole!
Now that you know this technique, you can go wild with the variations of slider casseroles. You could make a breakfast slider casserole with scrambled eggs, bacon (or sausage), and cheese. What about a roasted vegetable slider casserole using roasted red bell pepper, egg plant, and onions? Let me know what version you make.