Recently, I went out with my friends Jennifer and Jennie. After a bit of barhopping we ended up at The Redhead, a nice gastropub/bistro in the East Village. Our main goal was, of course, to toss back a few cocktails – a goal to which the Redhead is eminently suitable. However, as we didn’t want to have to be carried home, we also sampled a few of the appetizers there, including THE BEST PEANUTS EVER. They were billed as peanut brittle, but it wasn’t really as much as just maple roasted peanuts with bits of bacon scattered throughout.
I became immediately obsessed.
I tried to recreate the peanuts a couple weeks later, roasting the nuts on the stove with some sugar, salt, maple syrup, and spices. The result was… okay. I didn’t throw them out or anything, but they weren’t amazing and certainly not worth writing up here. But I was still obsessed with making this “peanut brittle.”
So I took to Google. After some serious searching (not really, but that sounds better than “taking five seconds, doesn’t it?) I found the EXACT recipe on Food & Wine’s website.
So I made them the other day when Amy and Bruno came over for dinner. They were awesome.
Here’s what you’ll need for the Redhead’s Bacon Peanut Brittle
- 6 slices of bacon (about 1/4 lb) ($3.19)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced ($1.49)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt ($1.99)
- 3/4 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning ($3.79)
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper ($0.79)
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard ($2.99)
- 3 cups unsalted roasted peanuts ($2.39)
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup ($7.69)
Total 24.32 for about 10 servings or 2.43 per serving.
Start by cooking the bacon – you want it crispy. I generally do this in the oven, at 400 or so for about 15 minutes.
Once it’s done, let it drain on a paper towel and then chop it up into little bits. Meanwhile, mix together the thyme, salt and spices together in a big bowl. Add the maple syrup and mix until it’s completely combined. Then add the bacon and peanuts. Mix that up until the peanuts are totally covered and spread the mixture out on a baking pan covered with parchment paper.
You don’t strictly *need* the paper, but it does make cleaning things up MUCH easier. You could probably use aluminum foil if you don’t have parchment.
Pop the pan in an oven set to 325 degrees and let it cook for 15 minutes. Pull it out, mix the peanuts up, and put it back in for another 15 minutes.
After they’re done, pull the peanuts out and let them cook on the pan. Be sure to mix them up every few minutes to prevent them from all sticking together. Unless you’re having a huge party, you’ll probably have more nuts than you’re going to eat at once. Store them in an airtight container or they will get super-sticky.