Thursday, July 19, 2012

Cacahuates Oaxaqueños con Chile y Ajo (Oaxacan-Style Peanuts w/ Chile & Garlic)

About seven or eight years ago, my mom lived in a house with a pool.  The last house-with-a-pool that any one in my family has lived in since.  (She no longer lives there.  That seven or eight years ago was her last summer living there.)  So far.  Fingers crossed that that will change one day.  Soon.

The fourth of July from that year is one that sticks in my brain pretty insistently.  I'm sure it had alot to do with the fact that everybody's was at mom's that year.  My brother and sister.  My other sister and her kids.  Our whole crew plus mi suegro (father-in-law).  I think a few friends of the family even happened by.

Days spent in the pool are happy days.  I remember a Peanut Butter and ______ (fill in the blank: jam, honey, banana) assembly line.  Picnic table benches soaked by bums directly out of the water.  Cold lemonade.

And then the day wears on.  Pool activities stay in full swing.  Music blasts in the background and from the mouths of everyone.  We're a very musical family.  (As in, we love music...I'll leave it at that).
Of course, there was some snackin' food I was dying to make - so I took a kitchen detour.  Peanuts in the shell cooked with skinny red chile peppers and whole cloves of garlic.  Piled into waiting bowls.  Brought out to the patio...beckoning.

This leads to the cracking of cold beers.  Sun-kissed skin and flip-flop clad feet.  Bonfire as the sun fades.  Heading over the the lake for fireworks.  That was a good day.  And those peanuts are still on my mind.  Dare I say those were a big part of why I remember that day so fondly?

These aren't the same ones I made that day (I need to rummage through heavy boxes to find that recipe), but they are fairly close.  And equally addicting.  Why not make a big batch and bring them along next time you're spending a hot day relaxing around the pool with people you like.  Or are related to.

Oaxacan-Style Peanuts w/ Chile & Garlic (Cacahuates Oaxaqueños con Chile y Ajo)

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Keywords: saute snack vegan legumes peanuts garlic chiles Super Bowl National Garlic Day Mexican

Ingredients (~4 cups)
  • ~1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4-5 chiles de árbol, stemmed
  • 8 fat garlic cloves, peeled
  • 24 oz. toasted Spanish peanuts (the type w/ skin on)
  • coarse salt
Ripe the chiles into 1-inch pieces and cut the garlic cloves in half lengthwise. Combine them with the garlic in a 12-inch skillet set over medium heat. Stir until garlic is softened and chiles begin to smell nice and toasty, ~3 minutes or so.

Add peanuts to the skillet and lower the temperature to medium-low. Stir almost constantly, until peanuts are golden and aromatic, ~10 minutes. Sprinkle generously with salt.

Enjoy as a snack.  These are especially good alongside a cold cerveza (beer).

slightly adapted from Fiesta at Rick's
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