Saturday, May 10, 2008
Sweet & Spicy Nuts
1 1/2 cups whole blanched almonds
1 1/2 cups whole unsalted raw cashews
[Note: you can substitute shelled raw pecans and/or walnuts for the almonds and/or cashews]
1 1/2 cups powdered or superfine sugar
1 tsp sea salt
2 Tbs of curry powder: mild, medium or hot, depending on your preference
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
Pinch of ground red pepper or cayenne
Oil for deep-frying (peanut oil is best, or use vegetable oil)
In a large bowl, mix the sugar, salt, curry powder, turmeric, coriander and red pepper. Set aside. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, then add the nuts and blanch for 1 minute. Drain thoroughly in a strainer and shake off as much excess water as possible, then immediately toss the nuts into the bowl with the sugar and spices. Toss well to coat the nuts with the mixture. In a deep-fat fryer or wok, heat enough oil for deep-frying, to 350 degrees. Using a slotted spoon, remove the nuts from the spice mixture (but save the mixture in the bowl - you'll need it later), then drop the nuts in the hot oil. Deep-fry for 3 to 4 minutes until golden, stirring occasionally and watching carefully to avoid burning the nuts. Use the slotted spoon to remove the nuts from the oil, then toss the fried nuts with remaining sugar-spice mixture in the bowl. Tip the nuts into a dry strainer to shake off the excess spice mixture, then place the nuts on a paper-towel-covered baking sheet or other flat surface to allow the nuts to cool and the sugar-spice coating to crispen. Serve, or store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
PS: If you like sweet & spicy snacks, you'll love Hot Honeys: Honey-Roasted Chipotle Peanuts, and Maxwell's Extraordinary Jalapeno Peanuts. If you prefer simply hot & spicy nuts without the sugar, then Chipotle Seasoned Peanuts are for you.