I want to make some kind of spiced nuts to have out for Thanksgiving. (I assume I can make these a few days ahead of time & store). Looking for a great tried recipe- I can search, but want a CH verified one! Something simple but delicious would be great.
I just made an Indian Spiced Nuts version that is insanely tasty. Here's the basic recipe, although a picture and more spiced variations are on the blog www.28cooks.com:
1/4 heaping tsp coriander seed)
1/4 heaping tsp fennel seed
1/4 heaping tsp yellow mustard seed
1/4 heaping tsp white peppercorns
1/4 heaping tsp cumin seed
1/2 tsp black sesame seeds
1/4 tsp coarse kosher salt
1/8 tsp ground chipotle chile powder (optional
1/4 c raw pinenuts
1/2 c raw walnuts
1/2 c raw almonds
3/4 c raw cashews
1/2 c sugar
In a small skillet, toast coriander, fennel, mustard seed, peppercorns, and cumin seeds for a few minutes, or until they start to pop. Shake continuously throughout this process. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a minute or two. Place in mortar and pestle (or spice grinder) and process until coarsely ground. Place in a small container and add sesame seeds, salt, and chipotle powder.
In large pan, combine nuts and sugar over medium high heat. Stir frequently until sugar starts to melt. Lower heat, and stir continuously for 10 minutes, or until sugar starts to fully melt and cover nuts. Add spice mixture and continue to cook for an additional 30 seconds, until nuts are well glazed and pepper is well mixed in. Pour onto sheet of wax paper on a cooling rack and spread out. Allow to cool. Store in tightly-sealed container.
buy unsalted if you are going to "dress them up". you need to be in control of salt, sugar, flavors, so you can go in any direction with any recipe for the plain nuts.
and don't forget that toasting lightly brings out so much more flavor. so, if a recipe will not involve some oven cooking, you might consider doing a little toast on the nuts first.
Try this (which seems similar to charlesbois's recipe above -- except his is baked for a much shorter time -- so, maybe keep an eye out on timing, as i have only eaten these, and had a general description of the technique):
1 egg white (beat till stiff)
1/4 t salt
1/4 t soda
1 C light brown sugar
coat 3 C pecan halves.
spoon out each individual pecan half with the "puff mixture" on slightly greased cookie sheet. bake 300 degrees 30-40 min., till brown. cool on cookie sheet.
if want to freeze, make sure very cool before.
(adapted from a fabulous older cookbook called "Cotton Country Collection" by the Junior Charity League of Monroe, Louisiana. copyright 1972, courtesy of contributors Mrs. Ed Brown and Mrs. John C. Theus.)
i have had a variation with a touch of vanilla extract and a hint of cinnamon. i think it could be very versatile...
I make spiced nuts like this. Pecan and walnut halves, egg whites, 5 parts sugar to 1 part each ginger and cayenne. Place nuts on parchment lined baking trays. Meticulously dab each nut half with egg white, daintily sprinkle sugar mixture onto each nut. Repeat for 10 nuts. Get frustrated as carpal tunnel flares up from a death grip on the egg wash brush and back aches from bending over the counter. End up dumping nuts 1 cup at a time into the egg wash, then scooping them out and rolling them around into the sugar mixture. Dump out onto the parchment and haphazardly separate. Bake at 350 for 5 to 10 minutes until light brown and crunchy. They turn out GREAT! Much better than the 10 meticulous nuts that are still lined up in their regiment-precise formation. The huge savings in time and body aches more than makes up for cleaning up the spilled egg wash and sugar mixture.
I always keep a big container of these spiced nuts around. I think the recipe may have originally come From a Marha Stewert cookbook but I've adjusted the seasoning to my liking. They're great in salads, tossed w/ steamed green beans, as well as just for snacking. You can use any kind of nuts (I usually mix pecans and slivered or whole almonds.)
3 TBS vegetable oil
1/2 C sugar2 C nuts
Heat oil w/ sugar over med/high heat in a heavy bottomed pan until sugar melts and just starts to color lightly, add nuts and stir until nuts are golde and suagr is carmelized.
Toss nuts with a mixture of:
1 and 1/2 tsp salt
1 and 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp sugar
spread out on non-stick foil to cool. When cool, break apart abd`store in an airtight container.
Any of the nut recipes on this website are easy and very good (I've linked to the Lemon Pepper Cashews):
I've made spiced pecans before with the egg white and sugar, but I like the ones on 28 Cooks because it doesn't require turning on the oven. It's all done in one pot on the stove and then laid out to cool and dry. The nuts come out with a crisp glaze on them (because there's no water added to the sugar) and great flavors. They also keep well for a few days, so you could make them ahead of time and serve for Thanksgiving.
This is one of my favorites. It's from John Clancy's Christmas Cookbook--an excellent book, now sadly out of print, but available for pennies on Amazon.com.
3 cups shelled pecans
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
Put pecans in a roasting pan with other ingredients and toss until well coated. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, tossing once or twice. Transfer nuts to wire rack to cook and shake them in a paper bag to remove excess butter.
I recently tried the Union Square Cafe bar nuts recipe from food network. I liked it very much, and I'm thinking I'll make them again to have them out at Thanksgiving.
I've also made an epicurious recipe for spicy nuts -- they were a hit at the party I had. I used cashews, though.
And a sweeter take is another epicurious recipe, with slight modifications:
I used pecans only, and used forks to fish them out of the egg-spice mixture, so that the pecans stayed separate and didn't bunch up.
All can be made in advance. The recipe says to serve the Union Square nuts hot, but I found they were just as good, if not better, at room temperature.
I had no problem with it. I made them and kept them around for a couple of days at room temperature, and they were fine. The butter didn't get at all weird or anything. And I wouldn't characterize them as any more messy than any other type of spiced nut. I mean, you don't end up with popcorn-butter hands or anything.
Also, there's a new thread, http://www.chowhound.com/topics/460457, where the poster is having problems with the coating sticking, so you might want to follow that thread to troubleshoot, if you decide to go with that recipe.
Hope that helps.