Updated: Jun 24
Living in the South was never my dream. When I first heard about "the Lowcountry," I laughed. I didn't think "low and slow" would work for us. I didn't appreciate how cool it could be to live in the South or what a safe area it is for raising children. But life changed for us in the summer of 2013, and we had to leave Massachusetts. It was time to begin a new chapter.
We arrived in South Carolina in June, and it was hot. Very hot. Like I'd never experienced before. We moved to a small town called Beaufort, and while we'd visited the area before, visiting somewhere and moving there permanently are very different things. Moving isn't easy. It's not in my culture to move often, and I don't like it. However, my husband wasn't willing to change his mind. I felt like I was being dragged to South Carolina, and that made it even more difficult. But 6 months later, I realized it's not that bad. The people are friendly and relaxed, and it seemed like everyone was on vacation.
As time went on, I fell in love with the rich culture of the local food as well as the food itself. I found a lot of similarities to Ukrainian food. Grits are like a dish we call "mamaliga" in Ukraine, and we ate it a lot in western Ukraine. Also, pork is the number one meat here and there, and collard greens are eaten here as much as cabbage is eaten in Ukraine.
As I'm sure you know by now, I love food. Whether it be taking pictures of food, reading about the history of food, or making and eating food. I've been having so much fun living in the South and exploring one ingredient at a time. It's great to eat locally sourced food no matter where you live. The state of South Carolina has soil that is rich in iodine, so for those people who aren't able to consume seafood for whatever reason, it's important to eat locally grown vegetables. I believe God created food that's just right for you.
When I visited Beaufort in May 2010, I noticed a few things that seemed strange. For example, 90% of all beverages people drink are cold, and the iced tea everywhere you go is always sweet tea. People also had a strange love for something called boiled peanuts. When I first saw a sign for them at the local gas station, I thought, “That must be a mistake!” I couldn't understand that idea. Boiled nuts?! That's crazy! Don't we always want peanuts dry roasted? But after awhile I fell in love with this unique snack. They are so satisfying, and they are easy to take on-the-go! Eating them while boating is now my addiction. What's better than boiled peanuts with cold beer while floating down the river? I love them!
One day while I was thinking of new ways to experiment in the kitchen, I came up with an idea. Since peanuts are legumes and not technically nuts, why not use them as a bean? I’ve had so much fun coming up with new peanut dishes like peanut hummus, peanut faro topped with pork chops, and many more dishes. Someday I’ll share more boiled peanut recipes with you, but for today we’ll start with boiled peanuts and peanut hummus.
The creamy and nutty flavor will have you fall in love with this popular appetizer. It’s simple and easy to make. The hardest part is peeling them and not eating all of them! Arm yourself with a food processor or blender, and you are in business. Let’s begin.
Prep time for Boiled Peanuts: 5 minutes
Boiling Peanuts: 3 hours
Prep time for Hummus (after peanuts are boiled): 30 minutes
Total time: 3 hours 35 minutes
Author: Inna of innichkachef.com
Boiled Peanuts Ingredients
2 pounds raw green peanuts in shell
2-3 tablespoons salt
Water (enough to cover)
For those of you who don’t live in the South, it can be a challenge to find raw green peanuts. You can substitute with dry raw peanuts in the shell, and just add a few hours of soaking before you’re ready to boil.
Boiled Peanuts Directions
1. Wash peanuts until the water runs clean.
2. Place them in a crockpot and cover with water.
3. On high temperature, cook the peanuts for 3-4 hours depending on how green they are. The more immature they are, the longer it will take. They should be soft on the inside when they’re done.
Boiled Peanuts Recipe Notes
If you boil a big batch at once (which I highly recommend), you can freeze them in their shells for up to 3 months.
Boiling peanuts in a crockpot is a lot easier than boiling them on the stove. Boiling them in a pressure cooker is even easier!
Boiled Peanuts Hummus Ingredients
2 cups peeled peanuts
⅓ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
1 teaspoon pink salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of paprika
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
Boiled Peanut Hummus Directions
1. Place boiled peanuts, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, salt, black pepper, red pepper, and garlic in a food processor and pulse to combine. Stop and scrape, making sure all ingredients are fully incorporated.
2. Add olive oil and continue pureeing the peanut mixture until you reach your desired hummus consistency.
3. Move the hummus to a serving bowl and garnish with your own wisdom. Some of my favorite garnish ingredients are: boiled peanuts or olives, parsley or chives, paprika or cayenne pepper, or olive oil.
Boiled Peanut Hummus Recipe Notes
Just like classic chickpeas hummus, it’s best to serve this hummus at room temperature with some raw sliced vegetables and pita bread.
P.S. You don’t have to live in the South to enjoy this delicious appetizer with a glass of sweet tea!