Smoky Spicy Peanuts

These are rich, smoky, and in spite of the lack of sugar, a little bit sweet.

Liquid smoke is the kind o thing that is easy to disdain if you don’t know what it is. The brand I use is Colgin Liquid Smoke, and it’s all natural with no preservatives or additives. According to the company’s website: “This condensed or ‘liquid’ smoke is … produced by burning fresh cut hickory, mesquite, apple, and pecan wood chips at extremely high temperatures and moisture levels. There’s nothing ‘synthetic’ about it – it’s not made from chemicals. It is made by placing high grade smoking woods in sealed retorts, where intense heat makes wood smolder (not burn), releasing the gases in ordinary smoke. These gases are quickly chilled in condensers, which liquefies the smoke; it is then forced through seven refining vats and a large filter, to remove impurities, and finally to the receiving and barreling tanks.” The results are – I can’t help it – smokin’.

Makes 4 cups.

4 cups shelled raw peanuts
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring
1 tablespoon olive or peanut oil
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon plus 1 to 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce, to taste
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt

1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Place all the ingredients, except the salt in a large bowl and toss until the peanuts are well coated.

3. Transfer the nuts to the prepared sheet and arrange in a single layer. Place in the oven and bake, stirring occasionally, until the nuts turn a deep golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes.

4. Remove from the oven, immediately loosen the nuts with a metal spatula, sprinkle evenly with the salt, and set aside to cool for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

If you’re sipping: These are a must-serve with Bloody Marys or beer.