Friends, it’s Friday. This week I baked breakfast treats for an office of 55 people. I taught a Thai cooking class to a super fun group of 10 and, the next night, taught a farmers’ market special class to another super fun group of 11. I’m a little tired. My kitchen is a little messy.
These are clean.
These are not.
But who cares? It’s Friday and the sun is shining and we have a party to go to tonight and another to go to tomorrow night and I imagine you might have plans as well. Need some nuts?
I make all kinds of cocktail nuts. I make them to give as gifts around the holidays, I make them for parties that I cater, I make them so that I always have a nibble on hand when unexpected dinner guests come by. I do really love the smoky cashews and still make them often but truthfully, they can be a bit of a struggle. The topping doesn’t stick as well to the nuts as I would like it to. Which is why I am really digging this recipe. These beauties get perfectly coated, perfect crisp. Not too sweet, salty and quite spicy. You should probably make some this weekend.
Winner of the Patricia Wells book will be announced on Monday along with one last giveaway. Oh! And many of you have asked about the three Indian cookbooks I mentioned in that post. One is a gorgeous book from the Cinnamon Club – an amazing restaurant near Victoria Station in London. The food is very fine and the recipes are a little intense. Not really every night type of cooking but amazing nonetheless. That one you can find on Amazon. The other two are both from Rasa – a much more casual but, in my mind, even more delicious place where I first learned about the glory that is South Indian food. I have cooked many times from both books and they are terrific. The New Tastes of India and Fresh Flavors of India. Also available on Amazon. I don’t make any money by directing you to them – they are just the easiest source for books that might be hard to find in this country.
One Year Ago: Lighter Fettucine Alfredo and Curried Tofu and Avocado Dip
Two Years Ago: Peanut Butter Cup Brownies and Raspberry Almond Bars (I was just telling this Dave Matthews story last night.)
Spiced Cocktail Nuts
Makes about 3 pounds
You can, of course, play around with the nuts you use in the mix and you can also halve the recipe. If you don’t love spice, I would cut the amount of cayenne in half. I may have thrown in a pinch of smoked paprika as well.
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2-inch sprig fresh rosemary
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
1 tbsp. + 2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup raw almonds
2/3 cup raw cashews
2/3 cup pumpkin seeds
5 1/3 cups raw peanuts
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, a non-stick liner, or foil.
Pick the leaves from the thyme and rosemary sprigs, and chop the leaves coarsely. In a mixing bowl, combine the thyme, rosemary, corn syrup, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper, and mix well. Add all the nuts and mix thoroughly with your hands or a wooden spoon.
Spread the nuts evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Roast, stirring a few times with a heatproof spatula or a wood spoon to ensure the nuts color evenly, until they are fragrant and a rich brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely. The nuts will keep in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks.