Yesterday turned into experimentation day in my kitchen. After a long, hot day Saturday helping my mom with a yard sale in Alleghany County, I was ready for a relaxing Sunday puttering around the stove — and, as it turned out, the grill.
While rummaging around the refrigerator for random produce to throw into my scrambled eggs (artichokes, tomato, banana pepper), I saw the bag of green peanuts I bought at Global Foods in Blacksburg last week. They still looked okay, so I set them to boil in a big pot of water and dumped in an unhealthy amount of salt.
Those of you who read the blog regularly know this made the second time I attempted to make boiled peanuts as tasty as the ones at roadside stands. Well, by golly, I did it this time! They took on the trademark dark, chocolate color and the wonderful, briny flavor. Now all I need to do to perfect them is cut back a little on the salt next time and boil them or let them set about one more hour.
The key truly was to just boil the living crap out of them for hours on end. We finally ate them at 4 p.m.
Success number two came in the form of a cannellini bean paste for bruschetta. I’d had something similar at a restaurant at the Biltmore in Asheville and have been meaning to try and duplicate it ever since.
I flew sans recipe, tossing the drained can of beans into my food processor with 1 Tbsp. of minced, fresh garlic and a drizzle of olive oil. Pureed that. Added salt and pepper to taste and a handful of fresh basil, then pulsed it a couple of times, just enough to chop up the basil. I didn’t want to puree the basil and make a green paste.
We spread this concoction on toasted French bread, then topped it with a mixture of chopped tomatoes and olives with more basil. I will warn you that I may still be reeking of garlic today (apologies to my desk mate, Colleen), but it sure was a flavor explosion.
Success number three was a tiny one, but it involved some of the best buffalo wings we’ve made in a while. As you all know, my husband and I are a bit obsessed with buffalo wings. We had the craving yesterday, but the house was way too hot to fire up the oven.
We chose to grill them instead. A little over an hour later (we kept the temperature on low), we had beautiful wings, rubbed in Hog Wild spice blend and tossed in Frank’s Red Hot Wing Sauce. I’m beginning to think great wings really can come off the grill, if they aren’t cooked too quickly.
With all those hors d’oevres all afternoon, there was no need for dinner. So it seems I actually had FOUR successes yesterday — a little reading, a little ice cream and bed by 10.
I hope everyone else had a good weekend, too. Don’t forget to keep sending those nominations for the best restaurant salads in SWVa.