Wine and Walnuts

A blog about eating, drinking, cooking and reading in the not so Deep South

Food and Wine Pairing: Chilied Almonds and Saint-Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux 2007

Chilied Almonds

Chilied Almonds

These almonds are one of my favorite things to make during the holidays, and the recipe comes from my best friend, so it’s one that’s near and dear to my heart. Plus they’re super easy to whip up, so you could be enjoying these less than an hour from now.

I usually serve chilied almonds on Christmas Eve, along with pancetta biscuits, a few nice cheeses, and some fancy chocolates and cookies.  I typically pair all this with a nice sparkling wine, such as the delicious French sparkler I wrote about in Tuesday’s post.  It’s a simple but festive way to celebrate the holiday, and it doesn’t feel like Christmas Eve to me without these elements.

Recipe:  Chilied Almonds

Ingredients:

• 1 egg white
• 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
• ½ teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin (fresh ground from cumin seeds, if possible)
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 pound whole unblanched almonds (about 4 scant cups)

Preparation:

• Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray foil with vegetable cooking spray
• Whisk egg white until frothy in large mixing bowl
• Combine pepper flakes, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin and salt in a small bowl and stir to blend
• Add seasonings along with almonds to bowl with egg white; toss and stir until nuts are well coated with mixture
• Spread almonds evenly on prepared pan.  Bake on center shelf at 275 degrees for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes
• Remove and cool to room temperature

Almonds can be stored in airtight container up to three weeks.  Makes 1 pound.

Tips:

• As for the instruction above about using cumin from fresh ground cumin seeds if possible, I don’t know how much of a difference it makes in flavor, since I didn’t do it.  My best friend who passed this recipe along doesn’t use this instruction either; the standard ground cumin by McCormick’s was what I used, and the almonds were, if I do say so, fabulous!

• I also didn’t line my baking sheet with foil and spray it with vegetable oil; I simply placed the almonds directly on a large pizza baking sheet, and it worked just fine.  The only thing was, the first time I stirred the almonds, they stuck just a little to the baking sheet, but after that, no problem.

Good stuff, and perfect with the Saint-Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux French sparkling wine.

Bon Appetit!

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About The Author

Kimberly Houston

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