In addition to regular meal preparation I often have side projects going that involve food. Yesterday I started a batch of red hot pepper sauce fermenting. It’s not like I need anymore. There’s probably a 5 year supply of fermented hot sauce in the fridge and more in the pantry. But seeing the peppers in the garden ripen and turn red it seemed like the thing to do.
I chopped and weighed the peppers, seeds and all.
I added kosher salt (2 – 3% of the weight of the peppers) and blended the peppers into a pulp.
A glass disc and a plastic bag filled with water were positioned on top of the pepper mash to press it down and keep it covered with liquid.
The mash will be left to ferment for a few weeks until I get too curious to wait any longer. The liquid will then be strained and squeezed from the mash and bottled.
Today’s side project was boiled peanuts in the slow cooker. Boiled peanuts are a favorite Southern snack often sold at roadside stands. The raw peanuts in the shell are boiled for hours in salted water, sometimes with added spices such as Cajun seasoning.
I went with Indian flavors for my boiled peanuts, using the spices in exaggerated amounts to ensure the flavors would penetrate the shells.
After washing the raw peanuts a few times I transferred them to the slow cooker and added a quarter cup of kosher salt.
The spices I selected were:
- dark mustard seeds
- coriander seeds
- cumin seeds
- ajwain seeds
- dried whole turmeric
- dried whole Kashmiri chilis
- amchur (dried green mango)
- cinnamon sticks
- Serrano chiles
- curry leaves
- turbinado sugar (to balance the sourness of amchur and tamarind)
I gave the spices (except for the tamarind, amchur and turbinado sugar) a quick fry in mustard oil before adding them to the slow cooker.
The peanuts simmered all day and well into the evening and, boy, are they good! Faye, who is not a fan of boiled peanuts, kept coming back for more. She suggested that they would be really good in upma. Looks like we will be having upma for breakfast tomorrow, or some morning this week.