Peanut panache: sweet and savory recipes

The peanut is a thrifty substitute for any nuts in nearly all recipes. You can use either salted or plain roasted nuts. Roasted shell-on nuts are the best bargains; they're usually fresher and cheaper. And considering the high price of pecans, almonds, and walnuts, peanuts are an excellent buy. If you aren't familiar with adding peanuts to main dishes, salads, or casseroles, try the following suggestions:

Add some chopped peanuts to baked beans, casseroles, meatloaf, hamburgers, stuffing, chili, spaghetti sauce, cole slaw, cooked vegetables, potato or other salads, pancakes, biscuits, cold and cooked cereals, popcorn, cakes, cookies, and especially brownies!

The early Dutch settlers of the south often mixed peanuts with cooked vegetables. For a change of pace try: Baked Carrots and Peanuts 3 cups sliced, cooked carrots (or turnips) 1 medium onion, chopped 1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained 1 cup chopped peanuts 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional) 2 tablespoons butter

Mix all ingredients except butter and place in greased baking dish or casserole. Dot with butter. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F. for 15 or 20 minutes until heated through.

Serves 6. Peanutty Meatloaf 1 pound ground beef 1/2 pound ground pork or veal 1 cup dry bread crumbs 1 beaten egg 1 medium onion, chopped 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 3/4 cup crushed peanuts 3/4 cup milk

In a large bowl place all ingredients and mix well, using hands. Add more salt if desired.

Pack into greased 9- by 5- by 3-inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. uncovered for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Drain off excess fat if any.

Serves 6. Goober Drop Cookies 1/4 cup margarine 1/2 cup brown sugar 1 egg, beaten 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon and nutmeg 1/2 cup chopped peanuts

Cream margarine and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and mix well.

Mix soda and spices into flour, add to creamed mixture, and mix thoroughly. Stir in nuts. Drop by tablespoon 1 inch apart onto greased cookie sheets.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 12 minutes or until light brown.

Makes 3 dozen. Southern Peanut Pie (A spinoff of Pecan Pie) 1 9-inch unbaked pie-shell 1/4 cup melted butter or margarine 3/4 cup sugar 1 cup dark corn syrup 3 eggs 1 cup whole peanuts

Beat together melted butter, sugar, and corn syrup in bowl. Add eggs one at a time and beat well. Stir in peanuts. Pour into pie-shell.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Serves 6 to 8.

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