Arsip Tag: bar

union square cafe’s bar nuts – smitten kitchen

A few things worth mentioning:

The original recipe, which can be found verbatim from one end of the internet to the other, calls for 18 ounces or 2 1/4 cups of assorted unsalted nuts, which would be just fine if 2 1/4 cups of nuts didn’t weigh about 11 ounces, no matter what nut you use. This led me to make this twice, first with 2 1/4 cups nuts — it was a tad too salty and spicy, even with halved volume cayenne — and then with 18 ounces (which is more like 3 2/3 cups of nuts), in which the seasoning was more spot-on. No surprise really that restaurants cook using weights, not cups. I then made it a third time, this time with some nuts pretzel nuggets (I used this brand) and it was excellent. Hi, would you like to come over for some spiced nuts? We have buckets!

I make another change from the original, which is I bake the nuts further after tossing them in the spiced butter, which helps it set. You’re supposed to serve them warm (and they rewarm well) but they’re also just as addictive at room temperature.

Finally, but it’s a big finally, the flavor here hinges on both salt and cayenne, which is great because: yum but terrible for recipe writing because 1 teaspoon of salt varies wildly by saltiness depending on type and brand (even among Kosher salts, some weigh more than twice as much as others) and I find that some cayennes are much hotter than others. What should you do? Well, I use Diamond brand kosher salt, the lightest weight of them. For any other brand of kosher salt, you should start with half and use more to taste. For a coarse sea salt, you’re safe using the full teaspoon and possibly even more. For a flaky featherweight Maldon sea salt, you could probably safely use 2 teaspoons, as Nigella does. If your cayenne packs a lot of heat, as mine does, I found that half (1/4 teaspoon level) gave the nuts a nice kicky but not overpowering heat. If you carry hot sauce in your purse, you should use the whole amount.

I know that a lot of people think that they don’t like rosemary but I am willing to wager a bet that at least 2/3 of rosemary-averse people will still like it here. Everyone does, really.

  • 18 ounces (3 2/3 cups) assorted unsalted nuts or 2 1/3 cups mixed nuts and 1 1/3 cups pretzel nuggets
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (see note up top)
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (see note up top)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread nuts (if using pretzels, don’t add them yet) on a tray and toast for 10 to 15 minutes, until lightly golden and fragrant. While they’re toasting, whisk butter, rosemary, cayenne, sugar and salt in the bottom of a large bowl. When nuts are toasted, add them to bowl and stir to evenly coat. Add pretzels, if using, and coat again. Spread back on tray and toast for another 5 to 10 minutes. Let cool slightly, then serve warm in bowls. Nuts are also good at room temperature, and keep for weeks in airtight jars.

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