3 Peanut Recipes

Angela Casley pays homage to the humble peanut

Peanut caramel slice. Picture / Babiche Martens.

On a recent rainy day I found myself tidying the drawers in the kitchen. Buried under the pistachios, hazelnuts and macadamias was a large bag of humble peanuts.

Growing up on a farm, far from any shops, we used to roast peanuts, put them in little paper bags and pretend they were store-bought sweets. Indeed, peanuts were the only “nut” we saw back then (they are actually a member of the legume family). Our mother would make batch after batch of peanut biscuits and nutty slices and fill the tins for after-school treats.

Feeling nostalgic, I roasted my bag of peanuts on a tray in the oven for about 10 minutes. The aroma was divine and the nuts crunchy and tasty with a sprinkling of salt. Needless to say, they disappeared pretty quickly. Peanuts bring wonderful texture and flavour to a host of recipes. Try grinding them as you would almonds or walnuts and use in baking. They are a great gluten-free option and full of protein.

In these pork and peanut balls, the nuts add flavour and an unexpected crunch. I cook them in the oven to avoid mess — you can cook them all on one tray. Serve them hot as-is, or with your favourite sauce; sweet chilli is always popular.

I have been churning out peanut sauce in my kitchen for years. It’s always a winner at a cocktail party, served with dainty chicken kebabs or spooned over a grilled lamb chop or steak. If you don’t have raw peanuts, replace with half a cup of crunchy peanut butter. Spice it up a little with an extra pinch of chilli if you can handle it.

I inherited this peanut slice recipe from my mother. Just like her, I make plenty and stock up the tins. Few can resist the yummy, sticky golden syrup and peanut topping.

• Pork and Peanut Balls

• Peanut Sauce

Peanut Caramel Slice

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New Zealand Herald

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