Sunday, 13 September 2009

Smoked Mixed Nuts

Ever since we got out smoker, I've been wanted to try smoked nuts, but just never got around to it. But faced with a fast approaching cocktail hour with friends - I figured it would be the perfect time to try.

A bit of background.

We have a few friends coming over for cocktail hour. Knowing the players, I thought it would be fun to try to do a traditional type one where instead of the usual beer and wine we opt for some classics like bourbon manhatten's (one of our friend's favourites) and cosmopolitans or the like. Of course beer and wine would also be availalbe.

So with these classic drinks I thought some proper accompanients would be in good order. Although the drinks have that 60s flair, I wasn't quite in the mood for appies with toothpicks in them. I figured cocktail nuts with a twist would be good.

I've made nut appetizers before, but not on the smoker. I'm not crazy about nut recipes that use melted butter as they get a bit greasy and for nibblies and that's not convenient. So I went with a trusted eggwhite recipe.

The trick here is two fold (no egg white pun intended).
One: Proper egg white beating,

Two: Yummy spices. The latter is the funnest part as you can be super creative or just use what you have available. Today's line up included sugar, chopped fresh rosemary, chile
powder, cumin and garlic powder.

I won't go into details as it's easy pleasy and the recipe is below.

What I will tell you is that these were delicious. Not super smoky, but more of a hint of smoke. And did I mention easy?
Smoked Mixded Nuts

2 egg whites
1/3 cup white sugar
2 tsp chile powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp garlic powder
4 cups mixed nuts such as walnuts, pecans, almonds

Preheat your smoker to 300F.

Beat the egg whites until frothy in a large bowl (as you'll be adding the nuts to this bowl later). You're not aiming for stiff peaks here, but you don't want any clear eggy goo either. Then you mix up your spices in a separate bowl and fold them in with the egg whites.

Add your nuts and mix well. Note, I used slivered almonds instead of whole and this worked very well. When you mix you will find that the egg whites are almost stringy - that's ok.

Pour into a disposable aluminum pan and spread around evenly. Place on the smoker and cook 15-20 minutes. Mix about. Reduce heat to 250F and cook another 10-15 minutes.

Remove from heat and cool before serving (although you can cheat and taste while warm as they are good then too).