You know how people say "(Something I like) is like crack to me?" You know what I mean. For example. "I love American Idol. American Idol is like crack to me." I wonder how crack became drug we chose for this cliche. I'm sure crack cocaine is plenty addictive, but if you're going to use something extreme to stretch your simile, why not go for the whole kit and kaboodle. From now on, I'm substituting Crystal Methamphetamine. Widely known as the most addictive drug out there (Wikipedia, so take it with a grain of salt), I think this one fits better. So, here we go:
Chile Garlic Peanuts are like Crystal Methamphetamine to me.
So, one day, we were shopping at the Teet (thanks, Nathan Moore), and they had this bargain book bin (thanks, alliteration) full of cookbooks for like, $5 each. I couldn't decide, so I bought three volumes of The Best of the Best Recipes from the 25 Best Cookbooks of the Year. I realize that that sentence might make you think you are in the Matrix. You aren't. Probably.
Anyways, one of the recipes from one of the cookbooks featured in one of the books I bought was for Chile Garlic Peanuts. The original cookbook is called Big Small Plates, by Cindy Pawleyn. These couldn't be simpler to make, but they are literally like a highly addictive recreational drug once you jump in there.
From Big Small Plates by Cindy Pawleyn
2 whole heads garlic
1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil
2 pounds raw spanish peanuts with skins
4 HOT dried chiles. (I used Chile De Arbol, which I found in the Mexican section at the Teet)
1 tbsp kosher salt.
Grated zest and juice of one lime.
Separate the garlic into cloves and smash the cloves. The recipe calls for not removing the skins of the garlic cloves, but they come off in the mix anyway, so I removed them. Heat the oil to medium high in a large skillet. Cast iron is best. Place the garlic and chiles in the oil and let them soften and brown for about 3-4 minutes.
Then add the peanuts and stir continuously for about 10 minutes until all the peanuts are thoroughly coated in the flavored oil and are piping hot. Transfer to a large bowl and add the lime juice and zest. Stir thoroughly, and serve when they are cool enough to handle.
Be Careful! Peanuts hold heat very well, and if you eat them right off the stove, they will be hotter than Earth's yellow sun, and might burn your face off, Raiders of the Los Ark style.
These little babies are the best snack of the year. Thanks Teet! Now go get started on your own little Chile-Garlic-Peanut-Meth-Lab