The North American SOUTH is a place where teas are sweet and people smile and call you “honey” with a slow drawl. It is where summers start in April, where macaroni-cheese and grits are served as a “vegetable.” It is where front porches have swing benches and people speak softly and long…where peach cobbler, pecan and sweet potato pies or banana puddings are staples. It is where fried chicken and ground steaks are served with gravy…where eating places feature: fried green tomatoes, fried okra, fried dill pickles, fried corn nuggets, fried cat fish, fried shrimps, and fried alligator bites. It is where off-road produce-stands sell fresh peaches, canned peaches, peach cider, watermelons and plain or Cajun boiled peanuts.
According to cook book author “Hopping” John Taylor preparing boiled peanuts is simple, provided the peanuts used are “green” and of good quality. Hopping John likes the red skinned Valencia variety.
Boiling previously dried or parched or roasted is a no no.
Boiled southern peanuts while I traveled down south reminded me of edamame (Japanese fresh steamed salted soy beans). In the North American South boiled peanuts are usually either offered plain and salted or in the spicy Cajun style.
BOILED PEANUTS ACCORDING TO “HOPPING” JOHN TAYLOR Serves 2-3 3 lbs fresh “green” peanuts in their shells (about 8 cups) 3 Tbsp salt 3 quarts water Cook the peanuts, uncovered over a low boil in the salted water for 1 to 2 hours, until they are cooked to your liking…Let the “p-nuts”sit in the water until [they are ready to be served and] the desired degree of saltiness is reached.
For more “Lowcountry”recipes by “Hopping” John Taylor:
HOPPING JOHN’S LOW COUNTRY COOKING (Recipes and Ruminations from Charleston & the Carolina Coastal Plain; 2000, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, New York – boiled peanut recipe on page 48).
[one more Southern recipe]
SOUTHERN CORN NUGGETS ALSO CALLED CORN FRITTERS
Kernels of 5 ears of corn (2-3 cups) 2 eggs 1 Tbsp brown sugar Salt and pepper to taste 2 Tbsp flour Enough peanut oil to fry the nuggets In a mixing bowl, cut and scrape off the kernels from the ears of corn. Add and whisk in the eggs; season with salt and freshly ground pepper and the sugar. Add the flour and mix everything well. Heat the oil to 375 degrees F (about 190 Celsius) and fry one heap of corn batter at the time on both sides until all fritters are done and golden brown. Serve the nuggets warm.