Deep Fried Peanut Puree with Blood Orange Bourbon Sauce

May 21, 2009 by bartolimu | 0 Comments| Share it:   

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Deep Fried Peanut Puree with Peanut Butter-Stewed Spinach and Blood Orange/Bourbon Sauce

In 1916, George Washington Carver published Tuskegee Institute Experimental Station Bulletin 31, How to Grow the Peanut and 105 Ways of Preparing it for Human Consumption. Aimed at improving the lives of poor farmers in the American South, this helpful pamphlet provided simple directions for the cultivation, preparation, and consumption of the peanut.

Listed in the book is what Carver calls PUREE OF PEANUTS NUMBER TWO.

He wrote:

“When sliced, rolled in bread crumbs or cracker dust and fried to a chicken brown, it makes an excellent substitute for meat.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but when people start talking about things being fried to a chicken brown I get excited. The idea of turning something as gooey as peanut butter (or lightly roasted, finely ground peanuts, which I count as the same thing given Carver’s recipe for peanut butter) into a solid, deep-fried meal in its own right is an intriguing one.

Since we’re going to fry this to a chicken brown, and since fried chicken is one of the great foods of the South, I decided to draw side-dish inspiration from that region as well. My original plan was to use collard or mustard greens. Unfortunately, everywhere I shopped had terrible, unusable greens. The only salvageable stuff I could find was spinach. While far from a suitable replacement for collard greens, the finished side dish is a tasty stewed spinach flavored with peanut butter, onions and tomatoes.


  • Prep: 3+ hrs.
  • Cook: 30 mins. - 1 hr.
  • Serves: 4

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Peanut Puree Number 2 ingredients:

1-1.5 cups peanut butter
sufficient water to dilute peanut butter to cream-like consistency
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar

See below for additional ingredients.

Step 1

Blood Orange / Bourbon Sauce This sauce is quite tart, its acid working nicely to counter the richness of the peanut puree. 6 or so blood oranges 1/4 cup sugar 2+ shots bourbon


Step 2

Peanut Butter-Stewed Spinach 2 medium onions 3-4 Tablespoons peanut butter As many cherry tomatoes as you can stand to slice and seed


Step 3

1 sink full (~1.5 pounds) spinach


Step 4

Peanut Puree Procedure Place peanut/water mixture over a double boiler and cook for 8-10 hours. As the puree cooks, it will darken from the outside inward. Photo taken after 30 minutes.


Step 5

Photo after 6 hours. Unfortunately, I had to divide my cooking time into two sessions. The end product didn't darken through the middle, possibly because it got cold and never really warmed up again. As a result it stayed a bit softer in the middle than was probably intended. Then again, you could probably make the same complaint about me.


Step 6

Turn the cooled puree onto a cutting board.


Step 7

Slice into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices.


Step 8

The stuff is a little difficult to work with because of how soft it was in the middle. I recommend a cheese knife or a piece of wire for cutting, as other knives have the potential to tear out chunks if you're not careful.


Step 9

That said, it's not too bad to manipulate if you're careful. We'll fry this stuff in the usual way: right to left, seasoned flour, egg, panko.


Step 10

Floured, egged, and panko crusted.


Step 11

Drop into 1/4 inch or so of hot peanut oil and get that chicken brown going.


Step 12



Step 13

Blood Orange / Bourbon Sauce Slice and juice the blood oranges.


Step 14

Put the juice and sugar in a small non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil. Add desired amount of bourbon. Simmer over low heat until reduced by about 50%. Thicken with corn starch if desired.


Step 15

Peanut-Butter Stewed Spinach Finely chop the onion.


Step 16

Bisect and seed the tomatoes. If you would prefer to use larger tomatoes (please do, prepping this many of the little guys is a pain), I recommend some form of roma.


Step 17

Saute the onions and tomatoes until the onions start to become translucent. Dilute the peanut butter with about 1/4 cup of water and add to the onions and tomatoes. Stir to combine, and simmer 2-3 minutes.


Step 18

Add the spinach. Don't worry, it'll shrink quite a bit. Cook until spinach attains desired doneness, in my case, 4-5 minutes.


Step 19



Step 20

The peanut puree was a bit difficult to work with, but fried up beautifully: crunchy on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside. The blood orange sauce gave the dish a more refined peanut butter and jelly feel, while eating the puree with some spinach was a much more savory (and equally tasty) experience.

Now that you have learned how to make deep fried peanut puree with blood orange bourbon sauce, please be sure to view these other nuts recipes. Also, you will love these American recipes.


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