These spicy nuts make a zesty addition to snack assortments, and are great served with icy cold beer or Margaritas. In the Southwest, you can purchase these already prepared; however, those you make are almost always the best. Even commercial chile nuts are improved by heating just before serving.

Yield: 2 ½ cups or about 10 to 12 servings

2 cups skin-on salted, skinless peanuts

¼ cup small dried red arbol chiles

¼ cup small cloves garlic (about 10 small cloves), unpeeled

2 teaspoons peanut or vegetable oil

Salt, optional

  1. Preheat oven to350F. 
  1. Place the peanuts in a single layer on an ungreased rimmed baking sheet. with sides. Scatter the arbol chiles and garlic over the peanuts. Then drizzle them with the oil. Bake for 10 minutes and then stir. Continue baking until the peanuts are toasty brown and crisp, about 3 minutes more. Be careful not to overcook the peanuts or they will burn.
  2. When the peanuts are done, stir them well and taste to see if more salt is needed. (Optional, discard the chiles and the garlic .)


Note: The peanuts will keep up to 3 to 4 months, stored in a well sealed jar at room temperature.


Reprinted with permission from Jane Butel’s Chile Madness, 2nd edition

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