Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts

Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts

As of today we are starting our preparations for Thanksgiving. We hope that in these weeks leading up to the big turkey day, you'll find some appealing things on this blog that you might consider cooking. I say consider because I know you may have your own favorite Thanksgiving recipes. If you do, send 'em to me - I can post them on the blog! Or not. Either is fine.

To begin, we are starting small. Thanksgiving is overwhelming. All the options! One yam can be dressed a thousand different ways. Not to mention the daunting task of what do with that dang bird. Brine? Dry rub? Fry the bejeezus out of it? Tofu?

Here is something that you can put on the table when all your 8,000 family members are milling about unsubtly trying to calculate what time dinner will be served.

Also, it comes with jokes! Here's how that works: you put a few (decorative) bowls of mixed nuts around your place, so people have something to crunch on. Your old Uncle Wally saunters over to you, looks at the bowl, looks at you and says, "I thought we already had enough nuts in this family!"

Cricket noises.

End scene.

No Uncle Wally? Thank heavens for that. We don't have one either and never did, but I'll get to that story later.

What You Need:

3 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Pinch of ground cloves

3/4 tsp salt

1 large egg white

Mixture of unsalted nuts. I used: pecans, cashews and almonds. You can use whatever you like, just make sure you have about 2 cups worth.

What To Do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 4-sided sheet pan. Whisk together the sugar, spices and salt in a small bowl. Whisk the egg white in a medium bowl until frothy, then stir in the nuts. Add the spice mixture and toss to coat evenly.

Spread the nut mixture on the sheet pan in one layer. Bake, stirring once or twice until dry and toasted, about 20 - 25 minutes. Loosen nuts from the pan and cool completely.

You can even make this one ahead and store in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to a week.

* Recipe adapted from Gourmet Magazine.

** At this point, Uncle Wally asks you to explain this particular nut recipe, and when you finish explaining, he looks at you and says, "Takes one to know one!" Oh, that Uncle Wally.