As a bachelor, my husband’s go-to meal was tacos. Filled with simple ingredients like gruyere cheese, rice and/or beans, sprouts, mushrooms and avocado, it was an easy meal he prepared and prepared quite often. Evening telephone conversations while we were dating would inevitably lead to a question about dinner (well, I did the asking) and his answer was always the same: “I’m having tacos.” They were his specialty along with stir-fried vegetables and rice.
These days, I do most of the cooking in our home but my husband has added one more item to his cooking repertoire: roasted almonds.
If you ever pay us a visit, chances are you will see a bowl filled with roasted almonds on the kitchen table. My husband snacks on them throughout the day and must go through 1/2- to 1 cup daily. Dry roasted, unsalted almonds were a weekly purchase at Trader Joe’s and even buying several bags at a time, I could barely keep up with demand when factoring in that I love to bake with them, too.
Over the last couple of years, however, my almond-loving partner has taken to roasting the almonds himself. Every few weeks I buy about 10 pounds of raw almonds and my husband will pull out all my baking sheets and commandeer the oven until the kitchen is fragrant from the roasted nuts. He seems to really enjoy the process.
I mentioned in my last post that a major refrigerator clean-out prompted me to cancel all my cooking plans–no shopping for new ingredients! I challenged myself to create new (to me) things out of only what I already had available.
As I watched my husband do his thing in the kitchen this weekend, I was inspired to try something new. I pilfered some of his raw almonds and combined them with some honey sitting on the counter, cayenne pepper and a bag a turbinado sugar that I bought a while back and never used. I found a recipe using these ingredients and after tasting them, I don’t think my husband minded so much that I interfered with his almond-roasting project. These roasted almonds are just a bit spicy and just a little sweet–perfect for a midday snack or as an addition to cocktail hour appetizers.
- 2 - 2½ cups raw almonds
- ⅛ cup turbinado sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- ¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat your oven to 325° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. If using parchment, lightly oil it.
- Combine the sugar and salt in a bowl large enough to accommodate the almonds and set aside.
- Melt the honey in a large skillet over low to medium heat. Add the cayenne and the almonds and stir until all the nuts are coated with the honey and spice.
- Spread the nuts in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. Let the almonds cool slightly and toss them in the sugar-salt mixture. Remove the parchment or wax lining from the baking sheet and spread out the almonds on it again to let them cool completely.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and they're ready!