These crunchy recipes include kung pao turkey drumsticks and no-bake chocolate-peanut butter cookies.
Food & Wine
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Fried Peanuts with Asian Flavors
To make these addictive peanuts extra-tangy, Chris Yeo soaks them in lime juice before frying them and tossing them with tart shredded lime leaves. He served them at the Atlanta party because Georgia is the peanut capital of the country.
"Because everything's better with bacon," reads the menu description for these addictive nuts. The sweet and salty snack has become so popular that the restaurant now sells it online in packs of three 8-ounce mason jars (theredheadnyc.com).
Whole-wheat spaghetti is one of Melissa Rubel Jacobson's favorite pastas because it is a good source of fiber and has an appealing chewiness. Here, she updates sesame noodles, a Chinese take-out classic, by giving the peanut sauce a hit of fiery red curry paste.
Tina Ujlaki adapted this crunchy, buttery, slightly salty brittle from a recipe by pastry chef Karen DeMasco. When her children were younger, Tina would make it as a holiday gift for their teachers. As she recalls, "Come November, I'd start getting these looks from teachers who were hoping for the brittle but too shy to ask me about it."
Unlike most versions of this Asian condiment, which taste like overly sweet peanut butter, Chris Yeo's is spicy, nutty and just slightly fruity thanks to the coconut milk and tamarind he stirs in. The peanut sauce is terrific with the shrimp satay but just as good with almost any grilled or roasted meat or poultry.
More suited to a cocktail party than a baseball game, this riff on Cracker Jack by Atlanta pastry chef Taria Camerino is sweetened with agave nectar and spiked with tequila. Slow-baking turns the popcorn-nut mix fabulously crunchy.
Grace Parisi's crumbly, ultra-peanutty cookies require only four ingredients: puffed-corn cereal, peanut butter cups, peanut butter and chocolate sprinkles. The powdery texture of the ground cereal prevents the cookies from feeling sticky.
Vietnamese Coffee Sundaes with Crushed Peanut Brittle
The Vietnamese love drinking superstrong iced coffee combined with copious amounts of sweetened condensed milk. Joanne Chang created this simple ice cream sundae as a way to enjoy the same flavors. Shards of peanut brittle made with a generous pinch of cinnamon add great flavor and crunch.
At school in Vietnam, Charles Phan and his classmates would buy these chewy rice-paper rolls, filled with crunchy jicama and sweet shrimp, from enterprising street vendors who set up their stalls in the playground at dismissal time. Phan loves the neatness of including the sauce in the roll rather than serving it alongside, but he often makes extra for those who insist on dipping.
Linguine with Snow Peas, Cucumber, and Peanut Sauce
Pairing Suggestion: Choose a simple Kabinett Riesling from the Rheinhessen. These Rieslings' piquant juxtaposition of fruity acids and balancing sweetness is the perfect foil for the salty and spicy flavors of Asian cuisine.
Any chocolate and peanut butter lover will adore this elegant dessert from pastry chef Rachel Lansang-Hidalgo of Manhattan's Aureole. Lansang-Hidalgo tops a rich milk-chocolate mousse with a roasted-peanut cream and addictively crunchy cornflakes mixed with peanut butter, milk chocolate and peanuts.