Beyond Mixed Nuts: Ethnic Snack Mixes & Pan-fried Jerk Peanuts

Monday morning I am on the 10! show on NBC Channel 10 demonstrating how to make Pan-fried Jerk Peanuts — one of thirty plus recipes from At Home’s Chapter 2: Sitting Around: Dips, Chips and Other Pick-up Snacks. In addition, I am showing a variety of ethnic snack mixes to liven up your holiday entertaining. Here’s a 10! show recap and the recipe for Pan-Fried Jerk Peanuts.

Illustration by my friend and At Home illustrator Pascal Lemaitre

At Home is not just a book of recipes, but a Guide to Home Entertaining. It is filled with side notes to inform you and help make you a better home entertainer. Here’s one about Ethnic Snack Mixes.

Ethnic Snack Mixes
A cornerstone of entertaining is intentionality. Anyone can serve pretzels or chips, but it takes the enterprising and organized entertainer to serve one of the multitude of snack mixes available in Indian groceries. These often spicy and colorful blends of seeds, fried noodles and crunchy beans are much more fun than potato chips. Or try setting out a bowl of Japanese wasabi-coated peas, found in the aisles of an Asian market. The Japanese also produce an array of sesame seed and seaweed wrapped rice crackers that are excellent with cocktails.
Assorted Snack Mixes at ready on my kitchen counter.
Clockwise from top center: Multi-colored corn chips, Japanese snack mix, wasabi peas, pan-fried jerk peanuts, Indian snack mix.

Wasabi Peas
Wasabi is the hot Japanese horseradish served as a sushi condiment. These addictive peas are crowd pleasers.

Japanese Rice Cracker Mix
In addition to the mix of rice crackers with some wasbi peas, try the seaweed wrapped rice crackers.

Indian Snack Mix
There is a wide assortment of Indian snack mixes – crunchy and multi-hued and in a variety of spiciness from mild to incendiary.

Multi-colored Corn Chips
Liven up your tortilla chips by mixing assorted colors. Here I have white, red and blue corn chips. These are available in better supermarkets including Whole Foods. Add salsas and you have a holiday salsa bar.

Pan-Fried Jerk Peanuts
Jerk is a fiery-sweet Jamaican spice blend and it marries well with peanuts. You can use equal amounts of pre-ground spices if you don’t have a spice grinder.

Do ahead Peanuts can be made up to five days ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries, or ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns, or fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 cups raw peanuts
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Yield 2 cups

1 In a dry, medium sauté pan over moderate heat, toast allspice, peppercorns, cinnamon, paprika, cayenne and thyme until the spices release their fragrance, about 1 minute. Allow to cool. Transfer to spice grinder and grind until fine. Add sugar and set aside.
2 In a medium sauté pan over moderately high heat, heat oil until almost smoking. Add peanuts and toss continually until they begin to lightly brown, about 3-4 minutes. Add spice-sugar mixture and continue tossing for another 2 minutes to allow the sugar to caramelize and coat the nuts. Immediately transfer nuts to a plate or cookie sheet and allow nuts to cool.
3 Transfer nuts to a bowl and toss with salt.

Pan-fried Jerk Peanuts

At Home – The Perfect Gift for Hanukkah or Christmas
At Home is not available in bookstores but only at our on line store or at book-signings around Philadelphia. Here’s the current line-up.

The Reading Terminal Market on Weekends
I will be at Reading Terminal Market weekends between now and the end of the year. Look for At Home’s table in Center Court across from Meze on Saturday’s and near Spataro’s Cheesesteaks — across from the pig — on Sundays.

Beth Cooper’s Coopermarket on Monday, December 14th
Beth opened Coopermarket in 1995 and since that time Coopermarket has been an everyday and special event Main Line source for wonderful prepared foods and catering. Beth’s first restaurant job was at The Commissary and she also cooked for me at the 16th Street Bar & Grill. Sara, Beth’s key assistant, worked for me at The Market of The Commissary where she single-handedly introduced Philadelphians to fine cheeses long before fine cheese became a food store staple. I will be visiting with Beth and Sara and signing At Home on Monday, December 14th from 3 to 6 PM.
Coopermarket is at 302 Levering Mill Road in Bala Cynwyd.

Weaver’s Way on Saturday, December 19th
I will be at Weaver’s Way in Mt. Airy on Saturday, December 19th from 11 AM to 2 PM. Weaver’s Way General Manager Glen Bergman is an old friend and former General Manager of The Commissary. Weaver’s Way’s Mt. Airy is located on 559 Carpenter Lane.

Thanks for visiting.


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Filed under Entertaining at Home, Tips

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