Thursday, November 29, 2012
Yo these things are nuts. I mean of course they are LIT-rally nuts- cashews to be exact- but it is also nuts how stinking good they are. Just a little sweet, a little salty, and herbaceous backed up by the cutest little kick of cayenne. I would write a freaking sonnet about these things if I was feeling more creative. But that would be nuts (wah waaaah).
And there is nothing more holiday gathering appropriate than a warm bowl of delicious nuts for everyone to snack on as they down their first adult beverage of the evening. I am going to make these so many times this month that people will beg me to stop. It’s not just that they’re delectable (though they are) they are also so quick to make it almost seems like it should be illegal. While you roast the cashews to warm them through, you toss together the spicy topping and melt the butter in the microwave. You know those Rolo things they advertise on the radio that take three minutes to bake? Well these take a mere seven minutes more and they would beat the pants off those mini melts in a holiday snack showdown. I guarantee it.
ROSEMARY ROASTED CASHEWS
(from Barefoot Contessa)
1 ¼ pounds cashew nuts
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
½ teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon melted butter
Preheat oven to 375. Place cashews on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until warm and fragrant. While the cashews warm combine the rosemary, pepper, brown sugar and salt in a mortar and pestle. Grind everything together and set aside. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, simply combine all the dry ingredients in a small bowl. I wanted my rosemary chopped up fairly fine so I decided to grind everything up a bit.
Melt butter, either on the stove top or in the microwave. Remove the hot nuts from the oven and toss into a large bowl, pour butter over and top with half the spice mixture. Toss thoroughly, pour in the remainder of the spice mixture and toss together again. Serve warm if possible. Although, not necessary, they really are next level when they’re warm. To make ahead: nuts can be made two to three days ahead of time. Store in an air tight container. Warm before serving if you'd like. Double the recipe: to make a massive batch to bring to two parties or to wrap as gifts, use 2 lbs. cashews and double everything else.