Even with the holidays out of the way, there's no rest in party planning for me with my big 3-0 birthday bash coming up next weekend. Part of my game plan is to make sure I'm free to drink liberally, not tending to cooking or serving as I tend to be at most of my shin-digs. So if I want to sneak in some barbecue or grilling into the festivities, it has to be something that can safely be cooked ahead, which led me to try out these smoked and spiced nuts.
I don't think I'd ever fire up the smoker or grill to just make nuts, but if I have something else going, say a ham or some ribs, these are a good use of the extra heat and smoke, especially if there's a party in my future. The recipe is easy, just take some mixed nuts and toss with a simple spice mixture, then smoke until they're nicely toasted.
I've made roasted nuts a couple times before, but the addition of smoke here gives them a new, robust flavor that will keep me happily munching away as I continue toss back the beers at the start of a new decade of my life.
Smoked and Spiced Nuts
Adapted from Weber's Charcoal Grilling: The Art of Cooking with Live Fire by Jamie Purviance
- 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- 2 cups mixed salted nuts (almonds, pecans, cashews, etc.)
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
In a small bowl, mix the sugar thyme, rosemary, cayenne, and mustard powder between your fingertips.
Pour the nuts into a 9x13-inch pan. Add the oil and seasonings. Toss to coat the nuts evenly, and then spread them in a single layer.
Fire up your smoker to 225°F. Add 3 to 4 medium chunks of smoke wood. When the smoker is at temperature and the wood is burning and producing smoke, place the pan of nuts in the smoker.
Smoke until the nuts are toasted and have a nice smokey flavor, 30 to 60 minutes, shaking the pan with tongs a couple times to prevent the nuts from burning.
Remove the pan from the smoker and let the nuts cool completely in the pan. Serve at room temperature or store in an airtight container.