Boiled Peanuts

Fair warning: Not your grandpa's boiled peanuts!

1 lb peanuts (shelled and green if possible) 
1 1/2 cups rice vinegar
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. salt 
2 Tbsp. hot sauce (I like Tabasco) 
2 inch piece ginger (sliced)
6 cloves
3 star anise 
1 tsp. chili flakes 
2 qts. water 

In a large sauce pan, combine all the ingredients. Bring it up to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes if using green peanuts. If you are using roasted, salted peanuts, you may need to cook them up to 1 hour. You are looking for them to still have texture, but they should be noticeably softer, with a little bite through the center. Allow the peanuts to cool and store them in the brine, at least overnight. These guys will be at their best after a few days. Toss them into salads, puree them for an interesting spread or finish a butternut or sweet potato soup with them for texture and acidity.