Okay, with the holidays coming up I thought I might share an absolutely FANTASTIC snack I learned a long time ago. It's so easy even a caveman could
do it, and everyone who tries it will be begging you for the recipe! Don't give the recipe out though...coz it's a "secret"...mmmkay??
This is not a 'side-dish', but rather a snack for friends and family to enjoy while all the family is together on special occasions. And, once you do
this you'll realize you can even control where the crowd gathers because they'll all be gathered around these snacks...it's that good!
So, here's what you do...
Go out and buy the largest can or bag of "Beer Nuts" brand peanuts (don't get the "mix", or almonds, or cashews, just the peanuts), usually this is a
12 oz. can (though some places have the 46 oz. bag). Also buy an equal amount of Planters honey roasted peanuts (other brands will work, but the
Planters brand is by far the best for this, I'll explain why in a moment). You will also want to pick up a sleeve of those tiny Dixie drinking cups.
That's all the ingredients!
Now, I'm just going to list the instructions which seem too simple to believe, but know in advance there are several tricks here (which I will also
explain). You will almost immediately start dreaming up shortcuts, but it's imperative you follow these directions exactly...every time, else it
doesn't work right (for some reason).
1. Take 1/2 cup of Beer nuts and mix them with 1/2 cup of the Planters honey roasted nuts. Gently mix them together. You don't want the skins to
come off the Beer Nuts, nor the seasonings to mix too much. You just want them evenly distributed.
2. Place the nuts on a microwave safe dinner plate or casserole dish big enough to get them into a single layer.
3. Microwave the peanuts for about 15-20 seconds. You want them to be warm, but not sizzling.
4. Serve in a small snack bowl with a serving spoon and place the dixie cups out for people to spoon their nuts into. Oh, and stand back!
That's all there is to it!
Now for all the tricks and notes...
A. Why does this snack work?
It works because of three reasons. First, slightly warming the peanuts brings out some of the oil in the nuts
which elevates the savory sweet flavor to the maximum, but leaves the coating on each peanut. Overheating will bring out too much oil and separate
the nuts from the seasoning. Second, this snack unlocks and triggers the salty-sweet module in everyone's brain. In fact, this recipe is arguably
where the concept of salty-sweet originated. Third, the Beer Nuts and the Planters nuts are different. They're similar, but different. The Beer
Nuts are Spanish peanuts with the skins on, and the Planters nuts are honey roasted regular peanuts with the skins off. The Planters nuts have a
pronounced sweet and salty flavor, and the Beer Nuts have a very subtle caramel and salty flavor. These two compliment each other when they're
B. Now, your first thought will probably be...'I'll just combine all the nuts ahead of time, and then heat small batches of the
. DON'T DO IT!! Why?
Because mixing the nuts ahead of time, for some reason, doesn't turn out as well. The flavors of the
nuts blend, and I think it has something to due with the different sugars.
C. Can I make more than just 1/2 cup of each at a time?
Yes, you can, BUT...you want to make sure that whatever portion size you make is small
enough that everyone gets some while they're still warm, hence the small batch size. If you want to make a little larger batch, just make sure your
portions are exactly 50-50. Just remember, it's better to make several small batches of this treat instead of trying to make one large batch to last
D. Why the tiny dixie drinking cups?
Two reasons. Keeps people from grabbing handfuls at a time (well, most people). Also keeps peoples
mitts out of the nuts. And most importantly, you'll probably need to make two (or fifty) more batches, and each time people stick their grubby mitts
in the bowl it just gets recycled and compounded on the next batch.
E. Where did you learn this recipe?
When I was in college I worked as a bartender at a popular bar. There was this old-time bartender who had
actually been to a professional bartending school (I didn't even know there was such a thing). He had all sorts of tricks he'd learned over the
years. This was one of them. He got the owner of the bar to buy a display warmer for the bar. He had bulk bags of both Beer Nuts and honey roasted
peanuts (which were actually new at the time). He would take about a pound of each and mix them together and put them in the display warmer. I'm not
kidding when I say, people used come into the bar just for these peanuts, and they'd line up to get 'em!
He had this little scoop and he'd scoop a small amount into a small cup and sell it for a buck. They'd fly out of that display, until they were gone.
He would make a fuss about letting them get warm before he'd serve any. He 'might' make a second batch sometimes, but he never made enough to last
all night (intentionally). If he made a second batch, he'd also make a big fuss about allowing them to get warm first. When they were gone, they
were gone. It was a psychological thing. And, he never let anyone know the recipe. He's long since passed, and I think he'd be happy to know
someone remembered his little trick for this most excellent snack. Thanks, LeMond! I never forgot, man!
ETA - I also think the smell of the fragrant peanuts and their seasoning upped the anticipation and enjoyment factor. I've made this recipe for years
and it's always a smash hit.
edit on 11/20/2019 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)