boiled, fried, and brittle peanutsBoiled Peanuts
Makes about 2 quarts

2 pounds (scant 2 1/2 cups) raw peanuts, soaked overnight
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 to 2 star anise

Drain peanuts, rubbing and discarding the skins of those that easily slip off. Continue rinsing and raining until water is more or less clear. Transfer peanuts to a large deep skillet or soup kettle. Add water to cover by an inch or so along with salt and star anise. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, partially covered, until peanuts are tender-crisp, about 30 minutes. Turn off heat and let peanuts stand in cooking liquid for an hour or so (but longer will not hurt). Drain and serve. (Can be stored in zipperlock bags and refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for a couple of months—thaw before serving.)

Fried Salted Peanuts
Makes a heaping 2 cups

1 quart peanut or other vegetable oil
1 pound (heaping 1 cup) raw peanuts
Kosher salt

Heat oil in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven or soup kettle to 350 degrees over medium heat. Set a colander over a large bowl. Lay a double layer of paper toweling on a large rimmed cookie sheet. Add peanuts to Dutch oven; fry, stirring frequently, until fragrant and golden, about 5 minutes. Drain peanuts in colander and immediately turn onto paper towels, sprinkling generously with salt. (Can be stored in an airtight tin for a week or more.)

Peanut Brittle

3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
3 cups (a generous pound) raw peanuts
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda

Bring sugar, corn syrup, and water to boil over medium heat in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven, stirring almost constantly so sugar dissolve, until mixture starts to boil. Stop stirring and cook sugar over medium heat until some of it dripped from a spoon into a bowl of cold water, forms a brittle thread, 6 to 8 minutes. Add peanuts; continue to cook, stirring constantly, until sugar and nuts turn amber gold, 6 to 8 minutes longer, Immediately remove from heat, vigorously stiring in butter, and then salt and baking soda. Turn onto 2 well-greased 15- by 10-inch cookie sheets. Let cool until brittle; break into desired chunks and store in an airtight tin.