Monday, March 4, 2013

Orange Pepper Almonds

Candied nuts have got to be one of the most addictive foods around. Crunchy, a little sweet, a little salty and a peppery kick for fun. These are unbelievably simple to make and take 15 minutes start to finish (including the cooking time). They knock a salad up from standard fare to fabulous meal or make for a great snack when friends are stopping by (which is what inspired them this weekend). You can use any kind of nut you like. Starting with raw nuts (not roasted) is best so they aren't being cooked twice. I love the combination of orange zest, honey, salt and pepper, but really you can use any syrupy sweetener you like and any spices: curry, corriander and cumin, cocoa and chipotle or ancho chili, cinnamon and nutmeg etc... have fun with this...the cooking part, and the munching part. 
Orange Pepper Almonds
2 cups raw almonds (you can substitute any nut you like, walnuts are great too!)
1 tablespoon honey (basically a thin drizzle, just enough to very lightly coat each nut)
zest of one small orange
salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of raw sugar (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment, foil or a silpat. 
  2. Toss almonds in honey until well coated all over. There should be a thin layer of honey on each nut, but they should not be dripping with honey or it will ooze and burn in the oven. Toss in the orange zest and season to taste with salt and pepper or any other spices you like. 
  3. Spread onto prepared baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 9-12 minutes until honey is bubbling on the edges of each nut and they are lightly browned, but not dark. If you want to use the raw sugar, pull the nuts from the oven at 7 minutes and sprinkle on a little raw sugar and continue baking until done. Cool completely, enjoy. Store in an air tight container (if you can keep them around). 
Here is a savory twist I sometimes make: just sauté almonds in a touch of butter with salt and pepper or any savory spices you like, and add to curry stir fried rice. A little more protein and crunch for a delicious meal.

What does this inspire you to make?

1 comment:

  1. Wow that looks tasty - I'm going to have to try this, though I'm a little afraid they'll become addictive . . .