Sunday, October 20, 2013

Nuts, Nuts, Nuts

I thought after two months of posting only hors d’oeuvres and finger foods I might get requests for something different, but all the feedback I am getting is asking me to continue until the holidays are over.  Whenever I serve cocktails, I serve nuts along with my typical hors d’oeuvre display.  Bars serve salted nuts to make you thirsty so you’ll buy more drinks, but I always serve nuts because I believe drinks and nuts complement one another.  Today I’m giving you the recipe for two of my favorite nuts.
The Glazed Pecans have a sweet and tart flavor.  The Union Square Café’s Bar Nuts are sweet, salty and spicy with the added flavor of fresh Rosemary….two very different flavor profiles.  I must admit, I like the Glazed Pecans better, but every time I serve the Union Square Café’s Bar Nuts, men can’t tear themselves away.
Glazed Pecans

§  1 cup pecan halves
§  1/4 cup brown sugar
§  1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
§  1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. 
In a large skillet over medium heat, stir brown sugar, oil and balsamic vinegar for about 2 -3 minutes until the sugar melts and syrup bubbles. 
Mix in the pecan halves and stir until the nuts are toasted and syrup coats them evenly, about 4 -5 minutes. 
Turn nuts out onto the prepared parchment paper and separate the nuts using 2 forks, dragging them out of any puddled liquid.
Cool completely.  Nuts can be prepared in advance and stored in an airtight container.
Union Square Café’s Bar Nuts

§  2 1/4 cups (18-ounces) assorted unsalted nuts, including peeled peanuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans and whole unpeeled almonds
§  2 Tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
§  1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
§  2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
§  2 teaspoons sea salt
§  1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Toss the nuts in a large bowl to combine and spread them out on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until light golden brown, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the rosemary, cayenne, sugar, salt and melted butter. Thoroughly toss the toasted nuts in the spiced butter and serve warm and Enjoy! 
For a printer friendly copy of this recipe, got to Nuts, Nuts, Nuts.  Enjoy!

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