Monday, August 31, 2009

a little bit NUTTY!

My grandmother was the ultimate entertainer. From the day I was born I remember her hosting lavish parties in her European homes. She entertained royalty, members of the Hollywood elite and a list of other very impressive people. As a young child I dreamt of being just like her when I grew up. (I have come nowhere close! LOL)

Her menus were elegant, elaborate, sophisticate and mouth watering. She had a theory. She never offered hors d'oeuvres or appetizers. She always told me that if you feed people too much before the mealtime they are not hungry enough to truly appreciate the splendor of the meal itself.

Of course she did have little things to nibble on while her guests drank. She always had her salted almonds. Super delicious and super easy. There are 2 ways in which you can dress up regular store bought almonds.

For my 1st version, Oven Roasted Almonds you will need just 3 ingredients: almonds, egg whites and sea salt!

In a mixing bowl mix your bag of almonds (about 12 to 16 oz.) with 1 egg white. Mix so that all nuts are well coated. Sprinkle generously with sea salt and then place on a cookie sheet so that none overlap. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Let cool and break nuts apart before placing them in a serving dish.

Or you could make some Spiced Nuts. These are my personal favorite. I like a little heat.

For these you will need:

1 to 2 Tbs. of olive oil
sea salt
cayenne pepper
garlic powder
almonds, 1 12 to 16 oz bag

In a medium to large saute pan add olive oil and turn heat to high. When oil heats up turn oven down to medium and add nuts. Cover really well with olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with paprika, garlic powder and cayenne powder so that each nut is well covered. Add sea salt. After 5 - 10 minutes remove pan from heat and either place pan in oven (if it is oven-safe) or place nuts on cookie sheet, and turn oven to Broil, High for about 5 minutes. (Watch closely to make sure nuts don't burn.) Be sure to scrape pan and all the spices on to the nuts.

When nuts are ready remove from oven, let one cool... taste for seasonings. Add more of the seasonings you desire to adjust heat and salt levels. Let cool thoroughly and place in a a pretty bowl.


The 5 Bickies said...

I completely agree with your grandmother...appetizers fill up your guests and they have no room for the delicious dinner and dessert! I am going with her approach from now on. Especially now that I have her nut recipes!


Lanie said...

Hey Jess! I linked to this in my Friday Favorites on my new blog today. We love good food!:)