January 17, 2012
I made Ina Garten’s chipotle and rosemary roasted nuts for Christmas after seeing the recipe in December’s Food Network magazine. The instant I saw the recipe, I was drawn to it, and saved it in the back of mind for Christmas. This was a perfect Christmas recipe for this year…we moved on December 17th, which is really a terrible time when it comes to being able to cook or bake for Christmas. Everything was a mess, my cutlery went missing for about 2 weeks, and we have a new gas stove that I had no idea to work, so even if I had had baking pans and flour readily available, I would still be hesitant to make any cookies or cakes. I was willing to give a panful of roasted nuts a try though!
I did use the same amount of nuts and “dressing” as the recipe states, though I upped the cashews, walnuts and almonds and skipped out on using the pecans. The cashews I used where not roasted. Finally, I couldn’t find our maple syrup (you think everything is so organized when you pack it, but when 8 boxes of canned/bottled foods are staring you down to be unpacked, you realize you could’ve done a much, much better job!), so I used honey instead.
In the end, these turned out really well. I am not a massive nut-fan (I think because I grew up never really eating nuts, as I was allergic to peanuts), but these were fun to snack on, especially when accompanied with chunks of old cheddar cheese. I adore the salty/sweet flavor combo, and the orange adds a fun brightness to the whole thing. I didn’t find them spicy at all, and would actually probably add some cayenne to the mix next time. They were definitely a good Christmas dish, and the recipe makes a ton. The nuts do like to really stick together though, so be prepared to have to stab at them a little to knock a few nuts loose.
One big change I made was follow some of the reviewers’ advice and reduced the heat from 350 degrees to 300 degrees and watched them carefully after about 20 minutes. It did take a little bit longer, but they certainly weren’t burnt!
Chipotle and Rosemary Roasted Nuts
Adapted from Ina Garten
3 cups whole roasted unsalted cashews (14 ounces)
2 cups whole walnut halves (7 ounces)
2 cups whole pecan halves (7 ounces) (I skipped these and just used more of the other nuts)
1/2 cup whole almonds (3 ounces)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup (I used honey instead)
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons ground chipotle powder
4 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Brush a sheet pan generously with vegetable oil. Combine the cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds, 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil, the maple syrup, brown sugar, orange juice and chipotle powder on the sheet pan; toss to coat.
2. Add 2 tablespoons of the rosemary and 2 teaspoons of salt and toss again.
3. Spread the nuts in one layer. (I needed to use two cookie sheets)
4. Roast for 25 minutes, stirring twice with a large metal spatula, until the nuts are glazed and golden brown. Bake longer if they don’t seem finished, keeping a close eye on them.
5. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with 2 more teaspoons of salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons of rosemary. Toss well and set aside at room temperature, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking as they cool. Taste for seasoning.
Serve warm or cool completely and store in airtight containers at room temperature for up to a week.
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