Going Nuts This Season
Every year at this time, I make a batch of spiced nuts for parties and for unexpected drop-by holiday revelers, and every year, someone asks for the recipe. It never fails. Recently, I did a small catering job, a working lunch for nine, and I added a container of nuts into their order for late afternoon sustenance, as a little extra sumthin'. As it turns out , the nuts were inhaled within minutes, prompting an e-mail request for the recipe.
These nuts are THAT good.
While you rave, however, please give credit where it's due, which is Union Square CafÃ© in New York, where these nuts have been a daily bar staple for about a zillion years.
I've made other spiced nut combos, and nothing has ever worked quite like this one -- not too sweet, not too salty, and infused with with the magical aromatherapeutic rosemary, which keeps on giving two weeks later.
One more thing: These take a whopping 15 minutes to prepare.
Inevitably, it's the simple things in life that blow us away, no?
Have a delicious weekend!
Union Square Bar Nuts
1 pound unsalted, assorted nuts - pecans, walnuts, cashews, whole almonds, peanuts are all good choices
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary (from at least two sprigs)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 tablespoon butter, melted (vegan shortening works just as well)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread nuts on a cookie sheet. Toast in the oven until they become light golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the rosemary, cayenne, brown sugar and salt. Melt the butter, in a small saucepan over the stove, or using a dish in a microwave oven.
Place warmed nuts into a large mixing bowl, and pour butter on top; you will hear a crackling noise. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, coat nuts with butter, then add spice mixture, stirring and tossing nuts for even coverage of seasonings.
Serve warm or at room temperature. These can be made in advance; will keep for about two weeks if stored in an airtight container.
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