I love nuts! I’m nuts about them. I’ve never met a nut I didn’t like. So I wanted to share a couple recipes with you for two varieties of spiced nuts.
The first recipe for cashews is delicious, with no added-fat, while the second recipe is not for the faint-of-heart since it uses a healthy dose of black pepper for flavoring.
Sugar & Spice Cashews
2 egg whites
1/3 cup natural sugar or ½ cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon each, sea salt, cayenne, cumin and chili powder
¼ teaspoon each, allspice and ginger root powder
6 cups cashews, whole or large pieces
Pre-heat oven to 300-degrees. Line 3 ungreased baking pans with parchment.
In a large bowl, whip the egg whites until foamy but not stiff. In another bowl, mix all the spice ingredients together, then stir into the egg whites. Stir in the nuts. Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pans.
Bake the cashews for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, then toss and separate the nuts using a metal spatula. Return nuts to oven, reduce heat to 250-degrees, and bake another 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove cashews from oven, stir again, then place pans on wire rack to cool. Store in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
1/2 cup natural sugar
2 tablespoons sea salt
2-3 tablespoons ground black pepper
4 cups (about 16 ounces) pecan halves
Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl. Heat a large heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, over high heat, add the pecans and toss for a minute or so, to bring the nut oils out. Remove from heat.
Sprinkle half the spiced sugar over the pecans until the sugar begins to melt, about 1 minute. Add remaining spice and repeat.
After 1 minute or so, pour pecans onto a baking sheet, spreading to cool. Seal air tight to store.
I am referring to, of course, the one and only Daisy Martinez, whose fabulous books read just like she was speaking directly to you, with all her jesting and enthusiasm. I fell in love with Yellow Rice as soon as I tasted it. This recipe is from her book (co-authored with Chris Styler) Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night – Bringing Your Family Together with Everyday Latin Dishes. There are some ingredients you’ll need to prep ahead of time, such as Achiote Oil and Sofrito, and these recipes are also in the book – both are very easy. I will give you the recipes for them in a follow-up post. Here is a recipe for Daisy’s Yellow Rice for four people.
Daisy’s Yellow Rice
1/4 cup Achiote Oil
1/2 cup Sofrito
2 tablespoons alcaparrado or coarsly chopped green olives with pimiento
1 tablespoon kosher salt or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf
1-1/2 cups long grain white rice (do not be tempted to use brown rice)
3-to-4 cups chicken broth
Heat the achiote oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven (enameled) over medium high heat. Have all your ingredients ready so the oil doesn’t get too hot.
Stir in the sofrito and the alcaparrado and cook until the liquid has evaporated and the pot is sizzling. Season with the salt, pepper and cumin. Turn the heat up to high, stir in the rice, and cook until the rice is coated with the mixture in the pan and the grains begin to turn opaque, just a few minutes.
Pour in enough chicken broth to cover the rice by about an inch (Daisy’s instructions) and toss in the bay leaf. Boil until the broth is down to the rice, give it a stir, then turn the heat to a very low simmer. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes – do not stir or lift the lid while the rice is cooking.
Last night’s rice is shown served with elk hock pieces slow-cooked to unctuous perfection, surely the kind of thing a caring Abuela would serve to her loved ones!