A few years ago, a very beautiful lady from the Middle East gave me a packet of mixed nuts. She bought it from a gourmet shop and told me that it was her recipe as she supplies goods to this outlet. A small packet of the nuts costs RM20.00. It was really good. It was sweet, salty and had a hint of spices.
|Roasted mixed nuts.|
The next time I met up with her, I asked her for the recipe. She hemmed and hawed and I got really confused. And I realized that I should not have asked her as this must be her trade secret. I let the issue rest and made a mental note to Google the recipe.
|Nuts mixed with sugar syrup spread on baking tray.|
I forgot all about the delicious nuts until Chef John of Food Wishes shared his recipe for Mixed Nuts. I was really happy to finally get this recipe. It is really simple to make and you can save quite a bit of money. And if you can get your nuts from a supplier who can give you a good price, even better.
|Final product after roasting.|
These spiced nuts are quite versatile as you can put in your own mix of nuts and spices. I tried cumin, cinnamon, cajun seasoning and cracked black pepper. If you don't like spices, then just leave it out. Just use the sugar syrup and you'll get nuts coated with a crunchy sugar layer.
These nuts are very addictive and is nice served as a party snack. Try this and impress your guests. It makes a nice addition to the usual peanuts that we normally serve during Chinese New Year. In Chef John's recipe, he uses raw walnuts and pecans. He probably missed my comment because I asked him why these are used raw. I am guessing that it's because walnuts and pecans take a short time to roast and would be roasted by the time the sugar syrup dries up.
I did not use walnuts because the walnuts I bought were rancid even though the expiry date on the package was still a long way off. I did not have time to go to the supermarket to make a complaint. Walnuts spoil very easily due to it's high fat content. I still roasted the pecans and I am glad that I did.
I am reproducing Chef John's recipe below with my modifications in red. Do go to his blog to check the video recipe.
Spiced Mixed Nuts
Recipe source : Food Wishes
- 1 cup raw walnut halves (I omitted)
- 1 cup raw pecan halves (I put 2 cups)
- 1 cup unsalted, dry roasted almonds (1 put 2 cups)
- 1 cup unsalted, dry roasted cashews (I put 2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (I put 1 teaspoon)
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin (I put 1 teaspoon plus one teaspoon of cinnamon)
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (I put 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning)
For the syrup :
- 1 or 2 tablespoons butter (I put 2 small pats of Ballantyne butter)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
Note : I put 1/2 cup water because I used 6 cups of nuts but I realised that 1/4 cup of water would suffice. I did not increase the sugar and I found that 1/2 cup sugar is adequate.
1. Put all the nuts, salt, ground pepper, cumin and cayenne in a big mixing bowl.
2. In a saucepan put butter, sugar and water.
3. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute.
4. Pour syrup into the nuts and stir to coat evenly.
5. Pour the nuts onto a lined and lightly greased baking tray (use cooking spray or just rub with oil)
6. Roast at 180C for 10 minutes and mix the nuts thoroughly. (I roasted at 160C)
7. Roast for another 6 minutes and repeat mixing. Continue to roast until the syrup has caramalised and thickened.
8. Cool completely and serve or store in an airtight container.
Note : I roasted at 160C for 10 minutes, 6 minutes and continued until the nuts were dry and sticky. All together I roasted for a total of 25 minutes and left the nuts in the oven for another 10 minutes. You need to adjust accordingly.
I am submitting this post to Chinese New Year Delights 2013 hosted by Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover.