This week is going to be a little nuts, so I am making some nuts! Tomorrow I am throwing a baby shower for my bestie, Angela, who, now that she is pregnant, I have affectionately nicknamed “Meatball”. NO, I am not trying to be mean! She’s a little Italian who is now almost eight months along, how can I resist the oh-so-obvious nickname? She’s a good sport and seems to embrace the nickname. Good thing I surround myself with people who have a sense of humor and can dish it right back. Looking forward to what she’s going to call me when I get pregnant…
So, back to the nuts. My friend, Rhonda, made some incredible spiced nuts for our Christmas brunch last year. We all demanded the recipe and, upon receipt, I literally made those nuts the entire rest of the month of December. I made a new batch every time the spiced nut reserves ran low. Fast-forward to yesterday. I was trying to come up with a little nibble item to put in bowls around the house for people to munch on during the shower. While Rhonda’s spiced nut recipe is delicious, it’s not an Ina recipe. I then consulted my Barefoot Contessa cookbooks and ran across this recipe and viola! I was intrigued by the variety of nuts and the pairing of orange, maple syrup, chipotle and rosemary. I thought it would be an interesting blend of sweet, smokey and herby. Boy oh boy, was I right. By the way, Angela is having a baby boy!
Chipotle & Rosemary Roasted Nuts Serves 8-10 (courtesy of Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa: How Easy is That?)
3 cups whole roasted unsalted cashews (14 ounces)
2 cups whole walnut halves (7 ounces)
2 cups whole pecan halves (7 ounces)
1/2 cup whole almonds (3 ounces)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
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, divided
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Brush a sheet pan generously with vegetable oil. Combine the cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, the maple syrup, brown sugar, orange juice, and chipotle powder on the sheet pan. Toss to coat the nuts evenly. Add 2 tablespoons of the rosemary and 2 teaspoons of salt and toss again.
Spread the nuts in one layer. Roast the nuts for 25 minutes, stirring twice with a large metal spatula, until the nuts are glazed and golden brown. 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.
Note 1: I used half the amount of salt and half the amount of rosemary. No one needs to eat nuts that taste like a pine tree and I thought 4 tablespoons was heading into Pine-Sol territory.
Note 2: These are addicting! My belly hurts… too many nuts…