Slice Of Life
By Eileen Goltz
We watch a lot of basketball and football in our house. OK, to be truthful, I feed a lot of people who watch football and basketball in our house. There are the usual chips and dips and sandwiches but every now and then, when I’m feeling like I want to get a bit more creative, I make candied or spiced nuts.
I know it’s easy to pick up a bag or can of the ready-to-eat stuff but trust me on this—for less money and not much more than 20 minutes of prep and cook time, you can have a really amazing treat that is guaranteed to make any victory sweeter and any defeat easier to deal with.
Sugared And Spiced Nuts
Makes 1 lb.
1/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup white sugar
1-1 ½ tsp. kosher salt
generous pinch of cayenne pepper or hot smoked paprika
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 egg white, room temperature
1 Tbsp. water
1 lb. walnut or pecan halves
Preheat oven to 300°F. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet with sides and set it aside. In a bowl, combine the brown and white sugars, salt, cayenne, and cinnamon. Mix well, as you don’t want any lumps. Set the mixture aside.
In a bowl, combine the egg white and water and whisk until frothy but not stiff. Add the nuts and stir to coat. Add the sugar mixture and mix to coat. Spread the coated nuts in a single layer on the prepared cookie sheet Bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven, and separate nuts as they cool. When completely cool, pour the nuts into a bowl, breaking up any that stick together.
Modified from a recipe from Elizabeth Karmel from yummly.com
Makes 4 cups
Oil for greasing
4 cups hazelnuts, toasted, husked
1 cup (packed) brown sugar
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp. coarse kosher salt
3-5 dashes of hot sauce, depending on your taste
Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan and large rimmed baking sheet with oil, place a piece of parchment paper on another cookie sheet, and set them both aside.
In a bowl, combine the hazelnuts, brown sugar, rosemary, salt, and hot sauce; mix to coat. Place the coated nuts on the cookie sheet with the parchment paper. Bake until sugar melts, pulling out the rack and stirring every 5 minutes for about 20 minutes.
Remove the nuts from the oven and place them on the cookie sheet covered with oil. Cool the nuts completely. When cool, break apart the nuts (they may be clumped). Store covered at room temperature.
My files, source unknown
Spicy Fried Chickpeas
Makes 3 to 4 cups
This doesn’t contain nuts, but it’s just as crunchy and delicious. You can fry these up to 4 hours before you want to serve them and warm them up in the broiler or microwave as your guests arrive. You could also serve them at room temperature, though they won’t be quite as crispy on the outside and creamy in the center.
Vegetable oil (for deep-frying)
2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained, rinsed, drained again, and patted dry
¾ tsp. smoked hot paprika
¾ tsp. kosher or sea salt
In a large heavy pot, heat 3 inches of oil until deep-fat thermometer registers 375°F. Carefully add chickpeas and fry until crisp and dark golden, 5-7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked chickpeas to paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle immediately with paprika and salt and serve hot.
Modified from Epicurious November 2007
Kick-It-Up-A-Notch Spicy Mixed Nuts
Dairy or Pareve
Makes approx. 3 cups
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1 lb. mixed nuts
¼ tsp. soy sauce
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. paprika
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp. ground cumin
In a large skillet, melt the butter then add the nuts and soy or Worcestershire sauce; cook and stir over a low heat for about 6-7 minutes. Drain the nuts on paper towels and then place the nuts in a large bowl.
In another bowl, combine the salt, paprika, cayenne, chili, and cumin. Mix to combine and sprinkle the mixture over the nuts. Mix to coat. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Modified from tasteofhome.com
Makes 3 cups
You’ll need a candy thermometer for this one, but it’s worth the extra effort
¼ cup lukewarm water
4 Tbsp. orange juice (only use fresh)
1 ½ cups sugar
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
¼ cup fresh orange zest
1 tsp. fresh lemon zest
3 cups walnuts or pecans or almonds (you can mix them)
Line a cookie sheet with sides with aluminum foil. In a saucepan, combine the water, orange juice, sugar, and corn syrup. Heat over medium flame and stir to make sure the sugar dissolves. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture reaches 240°F.
Immediately remove the mixture from the heat and add the zests and nuts. Mix to combine. With a slotted spoon, remove the nuts from the syrup and place them on the lightly greased cookie sheet (you can also use parchment paper). Make sure the nuts don’t touch. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.
My files, source unknown
© Eileen Goltz
Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher foods writer. She graduated from Indiana University and the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris. She lectures on various food-related topics across the U.S. and Canada and writes columns for the CJN in Chicago, kosherscoop.com, and the OU Shabbat Shalom website, www.ou.org. She also wrote the Perfectly Pareve Cookbook (Feldheim).