I went crazy at the Indian/Pakistani grocery store a few weeks ago when I was preparing my lamb biryani for Project Food Blog 2010. I didn't have a recipe on me, so I just purchased a lot of biryani-ish Items. And guess what? Well, listen to this:
Grocer Man: Can I assist you?
Me: No thanks, I think I've found everything I need. I've accepted a challenge to make something I've never made before.
Grocer Man: Let me know if you need some help.
Then, when I was checking out:
Grocer Man: Are you preparing biryani?
Yay, me! Apparently I had gathered up the right sort of ingredients. He didn't even roll his eyes at any of my purchases. I felt Ready to Cook.
One of my purchases was a bag of raw cashews. I had a vague idea that I'd fry them up with Indian spices and then chop them as a garnish. And then, I lost the will. I decided that I had performed Enough cooking verbs in the name of biryani and that I didn't need to perform the Deep Fry.
So, I saved them. They stared at me for about three weeks, until I had a Cashew Idea. I brought my idea to life a couple of days ago, and lo, they were tasty. And now I'm sharing them with you.
Maple Spiced Cashews for Sharing
- whole raw cashews
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- about 2 tablespoons real maple syrup
- liberal shakes of your favorite spicy seasoning. I used Tony Chachere's (which is basically salt, black pepper, cayenne and garlic powder)
Preheat oven to 375F.
Spread the cashews out in a single layer on a roasting pan. Add the ghee, maple syrup and spices.
Bake, stirring every five minutes, at 375F for about 20-25 minutes, or until the nuts are a medium golden brown.
Remove pan from the oven, and reduce the heat to 250. Give the oven a few minutes to cool down, and then put the nuts back in.
Bake for an hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Let cool, or not, and eat them.
This took a long time to make for such a simple snack, but I think it was worth it. The long cooking time ensured that the nuts were golden all the way through. They're just barely sweet and a little spicy and the buttery flavor of the ghee really marries well with creamy cashews.
If you don't want to deal with a Long, Long cooking time, feel free to just deep fry (or pan fry) them in peanut oil and then shake on the seasoning of your choice once they're out of the fryer.
Either way, these little guys are really good, and I do hope you'll try them and let me know what you think!
Happy Halloween, all; see you soon!