Thursday, March 17, 2011
Damn Good Peanut Butter
Earlier this year, Adam and I decided to stop by Hell's Kitchen for their famous brunch. I had the lemon ricotta pancakes, which were delicious, but that is not what we are going to talk about today.
Today we're here to discuss....peanut butter.
I had read something on the menu about their peanut butter, but didn't give it much thought. They brought some out with Adam's toast, but I didn't give it a second look until I was done with my pancakes and waiting for him to finish, a frequent occurrence, as I am married to the world's slowest eater. I was bored and I put a tiny scoop on my plate, wiped it up with my finger, and put it in my mouth.
My life changed.
I'm not sure if it was for better or worse. Better maybe, because I had just tasted the best peanut butter in the entire world. Worse maybe, because I cannot eat any other peanut butter again. I bough a small jar for $6 and it disappeared way to fast for it to become my new go-to peanut butter. I decided I would have to recreate it myself. Then I remembered that the Internet exists and just looked it up. I made myself a batch and it tastes just like the real thing. It is a little bit thicker and it doesn't spread as easily, so you just have to use a little more. Once you taste it though, you won't be complaining about that one bit.
Damn Good Peanut Butter
Adapted from Village Voice
3 cups raw salted spanish peanuts, skins on (I bought mine at NutsOnline)*
6 tbsp honey
5 tbsp light brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
7 tbsp peanut oil
5 tbsp unsalted butter
*You can also skip the first step and buy pre-roasted nuts if you are lazy. I won't judge you.
Preheat the oven to 375. Spread the peanuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 50 minutes, rotating the sheet 180 degrees at the half-way point.
When they are done, they should look like this:
According the Mitch Omer, the chef, "If they look like espresso coffee beans, well, you fucked up. Start over." Hopefully you don't have to start over. Let them cool before proceeding.
Put the cooled peanuts into a food processor and process for just about 30 seconds. The consistency should be like really chunky sand. Transfer them to the bowl of a stand mixer (but keep the food processor handy) and mix in the honey, brown sugar, and salt with the paddle attachement for about one minute.
In the food processor, mix the butter and peanut oil for about 10 seconds, until emulsified. Then add this to the stand mixer bowl and stir on low until well-mixed.
The recipe says it will keep in a jar for 4 weeks, but I doubt it will be around that long.