Archive for the 'snacks' Category

Balsamic Rosemary Pecans

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Someone asked me for this recipe the other day, and so I did as I usually do – Googled it on my own blog, as if I were flipping through a recipe box. And it didn’t pop up. I searched, even in the sad, unmaintained index (sorry about that guys) and couldn’t find it. Could it be that I’ve never shared this recipe? One of our most loved, decades-old, party nibbles ever? That even my 24 year old nephew, who otherwise subsists on Mr Noodles, burgers and Sriracha, has mastered making from scratch?

candied pecan Collage

These are, hands-down, the best spiced nuts I know. They’re sweet-tangy-salty-rosemary-y, and perfect for nibbling, for giving, and for chopping to throw over salads. They’re super easy to make, and lovely as a gift. If you’re going to hand over $15 for a bag of pecan halves, this is the very best way to treat them once you get them home.

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Rosemary Pecans

2 cups pecan halves
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
2 drops hot sauce
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp. cumin (optional)
1/2 tsp. salt
A good grind of black pepper

Preheat the oven to 300°F.

Combine in a medium bowl and stir well. Spread out on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until pale golden and fragrant.

Makes 2 cups.

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December 19 2014 | appetizers and snacks | 6 Comments »

Roasted Chickpeas with Chili & Lime

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Amid a flurry of baking – I have another book manuscript due in a week – I decided that we should have something that’s not a scone/cookie/cinnamon bun to nibble on (crazy, I know), and I’ve been meaning to make another batch of roasted chickpeas since having the very best ones I’ve ever eaten at Rostizado in Edmonton. I could have happily eaten their crunchy/spicy/tangy bar snacks all night, and when I asked what made them so crazy good, they showed me a bottle of a Mexican spice blend that as far as I could tell contained merely chile powder, salt and lime.

I could do this.

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Roasting chickpeas is really easy – all you do is drain a can really well and pat them dry as best you can – moisture is what keeps anything from getting nice and crispy – then sread them out on the darkest baking sheet you own (it will conduct heat more efficiently than lighter ones) and drizzle with oil and salt. Sometimes I add chili powder and cumin, but this time I added a squeeze of lime, then let them sit in the lime juice for a bit and patted them dry with paper towel before dousing in olive oil, chili powder and sea salt. Some weren’t quite as crunchy as usual, but I loved the flavour of the lime. Next time I’ll try leaving out the juice and just adding lime zest – I like a good crunch – and report back.

So you roast them at 425F for 20-30 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice, until they’re nice and golden and crunchy. This is the sort of snack that you have to serve right away – if you put them into a container and pull them out the next day – say to munch on the airplane – they might have developed the texture of wet paper towel.

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November 23 2014 | beans and snacks | 18 Comments »

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