Bar Nuts

Bar NutsTalkin’ Turkey
My favorite thing about Thanksgiving, honestly, is that I don’t have to make it. I am fortunate that my mother-in-law is more than willing to prepare the Thanksgiving feast, and I only need to show up. It’s not that I wouldn’t cook, if given the opportunity. Of course I would. It’s just that by the time Thursday comes around I’m a non-functioning, drooling fool.

To be fair, we are all busy at the holidays—but until you have spent the three days before Thanksgiving working at a grocery store, you haven’t experienced my kind of busy.

The hardest thing about Thanksgiving is the wait. We usually eat around 2 or 3 in the afternoon…there’s the dilemma. Do you have a big breakfast to hold you until the main event? Or do you have a light breakfast and hope for snacks? I’ve tried both ways, and I have yet to find the best answer. Too big a breakfast means less room for turkey and gravy goodness. If you eat a light breakfast, and hope for snacks, the potential for wanting to gnaw your arm at about 12:30 is high.

This year, I will be arriving later than normal, so I’m going the small breakfast and snack route. I plan on making these just in case. Always good to be prepared…

Bar Nuts
Adapted from Union Square Cafe via Food 52’s Genius Recipes
Makes approximately 5 cups

1/4 pounds of each nut: peeled peanuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, and whole unpeeled almonds (Or you can buy about 1 3/4 pounds of unsalted assorted nuts.)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary*
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350°F

Toss the nuts in a large bowl to combine, and spread them out on a cookie sheet. Toast the nuts in the oven until they become light golden brown, or for about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the rosemary, cayenne, brown sugar, salt, and melted butter. Thoroughly toss the warm toasted nuts with the spiced butter, and adjust seasoning to taste. They are most delicious if served warm, but work well at room temperature.

*Now this is where I like to play. Try substituting the rosemary for thyme, or a combination of rosemary and thyme, or Herb de Provence, or even try a little cumin, paprika, cinnamon and ginger for a Morroccan flare. The possibilities are endless and exciting.

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