Wednesday, January 19, 2011

chipotle peanuts

Did you notice a few years ago that chipotle inexplicably started popping up on menus everywhere? It started in upscale Southwestern restaurants (I think Bobby Flay had something to do with it), then it became the name of a "gourmet" burrito chain, and eventually it trickled all the way down to Wendy's commercials. Now I'm starting to hear "ciabatta" and "sea salt" thrown around a lot. Who knows what will be next? Ramps?
Huitlacoche?


Even though chipotle's time in the spotlight has waned, it's still a terrific ingredient, especially in adobo. Chipotles are smoked jalapenos, and in most grocery stores, you can find them canned in a rich sauce made with tomato puree, paprika, salt, onions, vinegar, and garlic. 

For my enchilada night, I wanted a pre-dinner snack other than my standard guacamole. So I scrolled through Rick Bayless's website and found a recipe for chipotle-roasted peanuts that sounded so good--and weird--I immediately printed it out.
The recipe calls for regular old peanuts tossed with a mixture of chipotle in adobo, brown sugar, lime juice--and bizzarely, ketchup. You roast the nuts until the sauce dries out, creating a spicy, reddish coating. Huh. 

I only tweaked the recipe slighly, adding lime zest because I like citrus zest on nuts, and extra salt because nothing is ever salty enough for me. The end result was smoky, a little sweet, and nicely tangy. Not bad! Actually, quite good! And then I found myself gobbling handful after handful. Sneakily addictive, these peanuts.
Chipotle-roasted peanuts
Adapted slightly from Rick Bayless

(Makes 4 cups of nuts)

 

2 chiles from a can of chipotle chiles, plus 1 Tbsp. adobo (the sauce from the can of chiles)
2 Tbsp. lime juice
, plus 2 Tbsp. lime zest
2 Tbsp. ketchup

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. salt
, plus extra to taste
4 cups (20 oz.) roasted, unsalted peanuts


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, puree the chipotle chiles, adobo, lime juice, ketchup, sugar, and salt until smooth. Pour the sauce into a large bowl and add the peanuts. Toss until coated. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and evenly spread the nuts on it. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The nuts are done when they are fragrant and dry. Add extra salt to taste. (I love salt, so I added an extra few teaspoons.) Let the nuts cool on the baking sheet before serving.

8 comments:

Michele Napoli said...

I'm going to make these nuts this weekend. My husband and I both love spicy and chipotles. Your comment about huitlacoche made me smile. Huitlacoche is much beloved in Mexico, and years ago I had a huitlacoche pizza at Spago in Mexico City. Not bad.

bs said...

these sound fantastic - great idea. chipotle will never go out of style.

Nina said...

Ohhhh....these sound delish! You are *so* right about chipotle popping up...thank goodness! Perfect for nuts! Can't wait to make these. Great post.

Lisa said...

Michele: Pizza, huh? I bet that was interesting. My experience has only been a huitlacoche quesadilla, which honestly, didn't taste like much to me. Hope you like the nuts!

bs: Thank you! I feel the same way. Although it's nice not to hear it on every fast food commercial.

Nina: Thanks! Hope you enjoy.

Laura said...

I bought a bottle of chipotle chili powder a few years ago. It changed my world.

Daniel said...

These'll go great with my adobo ramps on ciabatta.

Generic Cialis said...

this is the perfect companion with some beers, I can imagine the next Super Bowl, some beers and this, thank you!

Tim said...

I've been making this for the past two years. I usually add a third chipotle. Sometime I will use cashews or a cashew/peanut mix. It is very quick, easy & good munchies! I like the zest idea. . . will try it next time.

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