Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cocktail Party Week.....Day 4.....Nuts (Two Ways!)

Chipotle and Rosemary Roasted Nuts

Today's offering is a twofer!!  (If I was on top of things I would have posted this on Tuesday.  Get it?  Twofer Tuesday?  Never mind.)  I love putting nuts out for guests to crunch on during cocktails while I'm putting the finishing touches on dinner.  Or if I'm having a larger party, I'll make a few different types and sit them around the house or right beside the bartender.  Everyone loves nuts.  Well not my friend, Jenny, or my niece, Charlotte, or....ok, maybe everyone doesn't love nuts....but they should.  Especially these Chipotle and Rosemary nuts.  They're a great combination of slightly sweet and a hint spicy.  And then there's the earthy rosemary.  Really yummy.  

Curried Nuts

While the first recipe required a little more effort, these curried nuts are easy-peasy and equally delicious.  Hubs is not a big fan of curry and even he thought these were pretty good.  I used a madras curry powder, but if you have your own favorite mixture, use that instead.

Both of these mixtures are flexible, so use whatever type of nuts you like best.  Hubs would be happy if I just used cashews in both of them, but he needs to expand his horizons occasionally!

These would also be great scooped into a pretty cellophane bag with a festive ribbon and given as part of your Christmas cookie platter or even as a fabulous hostess gift!

Here's the recipes:

Chipotle and Rosemary Roasted Nuts
Barefoot Contessa

Vegetable oil
3 cups whole roasted unsalted cashews (14 ounces)
2 cups whole walnut halves (7 ounces)
2 cups whole pecan halves (7 ounces)
1/2 cup whole almonds (3 ounces)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons ground chipotle powder
4 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves, divided
Kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Brush a sheet pan generously with vegetable oil. Combine the cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, the maple syrup, brown sugar, orange juice, and chipotle powder on the sheet pan. Toss to coat the nuts evenly. Add 2 tablespoons of the rosemary and 2 teaspoons of salt and toss again.

Spread the nuts in one layer. Roast the nuts for 25 minutes, stirring twice with a large metal spatula, until the nuts are glazed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with 2 more teaspoons of salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons of rosemary.

Toss well and set aside at room temperature, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking as they cool. Taste for seasoning. Serve warm or cool completely and store in airtight containers at room temperature.

Curried Nuts
from the book, Finger Foods

4 cups mixed nuts
1 egg white
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 300 deg. F.  Spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes.

Whisk the egg white until frothy in a large bowl.  Add in the nuts, curry powder, cumin and salt.  Toss together and return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes, then allow to cool.  (I tasted mine when they were still warm from the oven and found they needed a little more salt.  Use your own taste buds!)

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