Spiced Mixed Nuts with Ancho Chile, Lime & Rosemary


It's time for another Secret Recipe Club (SRC) recipe. In case you're new to this, here's how it works. Each of the food bloggers participating in the SRC is secretly assigned another food blog. The assignment is to choose a recipe from that blog, make the recipe (or an adaptation of it) and feature it in a post. The blog matches are a secret to the other blogger until reveal day. That day is today! Make sure you read to the end of this post for links to the other participants and their recipes. 

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This month, my assignment was to choose a recipe from Eliot's Eats, a blog with many fun reads and recipes with a focus on eating locally and healthy, and lots of family nostalgia thrown in. A number of recipes caught my eye, but I eventually decided on Ancho Chile & Rosemary Spiced Nuts. This looked like a great snack and gift for upcoming holiday parties. 

It had never occurred to me to combine rosemary, ground chile powder, and maple syrup for seasoning nuts. That's not a common combo. But it works. Really unusual and delicious. These nuts turn out to be one of those things you taste and like but can't quite put your finger on the ingredients.

I made a few tweaks to the recipe. I added a whisked egg white to give the glaze some extra crunch and shine. Lime juice is subbed for orange juice, because I had limes in my fridge (and not oranges); plus I like the flavor combo of lime and chiles. I also upped the ground chile in the recipe--both the ancho and cayenne. Ancho chiles have a deep delicious flavor (they're actually dried red poblanos), but they aren't very spicy. If you're a regular Yummy reader, you know I like hot spice. However, I didn't want to make these nuts so spicy that I couldn't serve them when we entertain. These are flavorful and mildly spicy. They're also sweet from the syrup and some brown sugar, and the lime juice lends a tart zing. Like I said, an unusual combination...that works!

Step-by-step photos for making
Ancho Chile, Lime & Rosemary Spiced Nuts

Step 1. Assemble the ingredients: roasted cashews, raw almonds, raw pecans, raw walnuts, ancho ground chile powder, kosher salt, ground cayenne (not pictured), maple syrup, brown sugar, fresh lime juice, fresh rosemary, and egg white.

  • Why roasted cashews and raw almonds, pecans & walnuts? That's because it takes longer to roast cashews so they need a head start. Cashews are much lower in fat than the other nuts, so they cook at a slower rate. On the other hand, pecans are relatively high in fat and cook more quickly than the other nuts.

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Step 2. Mince the rosemary--only the tender leaves, not the woody stem.

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Step 3. Crack an egg and add the white to a large bowl (discard the yolk); beat with an electric mixer just until it's foamy.

Step 4. Add all of the other ingredients except the nuts.   

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Step 5. Beat until well mixed.

Step 6. Add the nuts and stir until they're all coated all over.

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Step 7. Spread the pecans out on two large baking pans (my pans are 13x18) that are coated with cooking spray. (Note: The side-by-side pans are pictured below with parchment paper beneath the nuts. This turned out to be a mistake--the nuts stuck to the paper and were very hard to get off. I made a second batch where I sprayed the baking sheets with cooking spray, and it worked much better.)

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Step 8. Bake for a total of 35-40 minutes; removing pans after 20 minutes, stirring nuts, and rotation pans before returning to oven for remaining 15-20 minutes. (Keep an eye on the pecans toward end of cooking time--they roast & potentially burn faster than the other nuts.) Remove from the oven and stir; continue stirring occasionally as they cool to prevent sticking. I use the flat end of a spatula to loosen the nuts as I stir.

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You can serve these warm or let them cool completely and store them in an air tight container at room temperature. They well get crunchier as they cool.

These make a delicious and nutritious snack. They make great cocktail nuts, too. Try them with my Make-Ahead Margaritas.

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They'll go NUTS over this gift!

These nuts make a great homemade gift. Put them in a mason jar or cellophane bag, add a tag and ribbon, and you've got a great gift for hostesses, neighbors, co-workers, teachers--anyone!

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Download printable gift tags

To use the tags:

  • Print these on card stock, cut them out with scissors, punch a hole in the corner, and hang them from a ribbon or string. 
  • Print them on sticker paper and stick them to your gift. Or, stick them on with tape.

If you don't have a printer or specialty papers, you can have a store with printing services download and print them for you.  

To download and print a full sheet of tags, simply click on the image below.

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Thanks to Eliot's Eats for inspiring this recipe. I'll be serving these at an upcoming party, and I expect them to disappear fast!

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You might also like this recipe for sweet nuts:

Click to view recipe for Sugar and Spice Pecans

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Make it a yummy day!

Link directly to this recipe Print this recipe
Ancho Chile, Lime & Rosemary Spiced Nuts
By Monica              Servings: makes 8 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 whole egg white
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground ancho chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 cups whole roasted cashews
  • 2 cups whole raw walnut halves
  • 2 cups whole raw pecan halves
  • 2 cups whole raw almonds
Directions
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Coat two large baking sheets with cooking spray. In a large bowl, use electric mixer or whisk to beat egg white until foamy (30-40 seconds with mixer on medium-high setting). Add syrup, sugar, lime juice, chile powder, cayenne, salt, and rosemary; mix until well combined (30 seconds with mixer). Add nuts stir until evenly coated. Divide nuts evenly onto 2 baking sheets and spread into single layer. Bake for a total of 35-40 minutes; removing pans after 20 minutes, stirring nuts, and rotation pans before returning to oven for remaining 15-20 minutes. (Keep an eye on the pecans toward end of cooking time--they roast & potentially burn faster than the other nuts.) Remove from oven and stir; continue stirring occasionally as they cool to prevent sticking. Serve warm or cool completely and store in air tight container at room temperature.

For milder flavor, omit or reduce cayenne pepper.
For hotter flavor, increase cayenne pepper.
For smoky, hotter flavor, add chipotle chile powder.
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Posted on Monday, October 24th, 2011








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