Roasted Cashews, Two Ways

nuts! dos waysStrudel A few months back, Brandon and I went on a short road trip – I honesty don’t remember where we were going – but any car ride over 2 hours we use as an excuse to pick up junk food at the convenience store (for example, the first – and only – time I allowed myself these was on a road trip. I swear they were one of the most delicious things I’ve ever put in my face).

So, back to our trip – at some point along the way, we stopped at some random gas station to “refuel” (the car and ourselves). I made a beeline, as I do, for the fountain soda machine, where I gleefully mixed together 14 different types of soda (and the flavor mix ins! Love those!), when I hear Brandon squeal in delight (he’d deny any squealing – but I stand firm in my observation). He’d discovered a small bag of his favorite nut – the cashew – with a simple salt and pepper coating. You know how there’s those delicious pistachios? (also foods that fall into the category of “foods I stuff rapidly into my face”) well, this was an even better than those(!), since it involved the most-beloved nut with a simple but delicious coating. We scarfed those nuts, and while I’ve somehow forgotten where the hell we went on that trip, I *do* clearly remember these cashews. I’ve looked in grocery stores and convenience marts since then, but have never rediscovered the tasty snack.

 

With this month’s theme of Happy Hour (and my extrapolation then into Snacks Appropriate for Happy Hour), I had to recreate the nuts… and since I like me a little spice and a little extra flavor and because they were so super very easy to make, I also made a batch of spicy cumin cashews. Just to keep things from getting boring.

 

Oh, and of course, in honor of Strudel and Streusel’s Happy Hour month, I also have a wine recommendation!

 

 

This wine, and these nuts, are a perfect throw-together snack for having people over after work. Or as a quick and easy gift – the nuts (in a mason jar with a bow and gift tag) and a bottle of wine, and you’re the best guest ever! Or, at least, you’d be in the running for one of the best guests ever :).

 

About the wine: it’s a Washington state red blend, CMS Columbia Valley. Medium bodied, smooth, and not too sweet. I usually pay around $12 a bottle, though I just discovered that our local Costco sells it for $8. That’s pretty happy, right?

 

And on to the nuts: recipes are below. Only two notes – one, depending on how salty you like your foods, you can add or subtract a bit of salt. Also, keep a close eyeball on them as they roast. They go from toasty brown to burnt in a matter of moments.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Salt and Pepper Cashews

 

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 cup raw, whole cashews

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

 

Preheat oven to 450.

Place the cashews in a baking pan (I used a round cake pan) and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix together with your hands. Place in oven for 6-8 minutes, stirring at least once. Remove when toasty brown and smelling delicious. Nuts will seem soft when first removed from oven, but will crisp up as they cool.

 

 

Spicy Cumin Cashews

 

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 cup raw, whole cashews

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

3/4 teaspoon cumin

1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne (depending on how spicy you’d like it to be)

 

Preheat oven to 450.

Place the cashews in a baking pan (I used a round cake pan) and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne, and mix together with your hands. Place in oven for 6-8 minutes, stirring at least once. Remove when toasty brown and smelling delicious. Nuts will seem soft when first removed from oven, but will crisp up as they cool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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