I would consider “March madness” my reaction to getting another topping of snow the other day, but for those who think of it in terms of a fun time to gather with friends or family and watch some basketball, here’s an idea for a quick and easy yet flavorful snack. Fresh-roasted nuts are a delicious addition to your party spread or a great contribution when you’re not the host. And best of all, you get to control the seasonings so you can add extra spice if you like. That’s much better than just cracking open a can.
These nuts are best served freshly roasted and still warm, suggests chef Bruce Aidells, who contributed this recipe to Real Food. But if time does not allow, nuts can be stored in an airtight jar for up to two weeks. These spicy nuts naturally go well with beer, but are also excellent with cocktails, especially whiskey-based drinks.
Spicy Roasted Nuts
1/3 c. peanut or canola oil
½ tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. red-pepper flakes
½ tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
¾ lb. whole raw almonds, skin on (about 2 cups)
½ lb. whole raw cashews (about 1½ cups)
Kosher salt, to taste
Heat oil in a large heavy frying pan over medium-low heat. Add cumin, pepper flakes, cayenne, and black pepper and stir to distribute well. Pour in nuts and stir and shake pan so that they are well coated with oil and seasoning. Continue to stir and shake until nuts begin to lightly brown. Taste one to make sure they are toasted to your liking, and then transfer immediately to a cookie sheet lined with paper towels. Sprinkle generously with salt to your taste and pack into an airtight jar until ready to serve.
Nutrition info (per serving) Spicy Roasted Nuts: CALORIES 386 (287 from fat); FAT 34g (sat. 4g); CHOL 0mg; SODIUM 4mg; CARB 15g; FIBER 5g; PROTEIN 11g