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Christmas Kitchen: How To Make Festive Spiced Nuts
Happy Christmas Week! While I know we’ve already got some celebrations to come (we’re doing a vegetarian Christmas lunch for our neighbours today, I’m doing a special Russian Christmas Eve supper tomorrow, and then we’ve got the usual turkey ready to go on Wednesday!) I thought I’d turn my attention to the next big party of December: New Years. I’ve got a recipe coming next week in time for a special New Years Day luncheon, and today my favourite new ‘thing to serve with drinks’ this season, great for both parties and for snacking on in front of the TV: Festive Spiced Nuts. For a party I hosted at the beginning of the month (alongside my Classic Cheese Straws, Classic Gingerbread and my Boozy Chocolate Orange Profiterole Pyramid) I took the recipe for spiced almonds in Nigella’s At My Table (ad), added some beautiful green pistachios (my favourite nut for nibbles, as well as baking) and switched the flavours around to be a bit more festive.
They went down a storm, and they’re so easy to make – just 15 minutes start to finish, and they store well in an air tight jar, tub or container for up to a week, so they’re great for getting ahead. One of my guests even asked for the recipe before I managed to get it up here, and has already made them for one of her own drinks parties!
A few more of my favourite drinks and nibble ideas to ring in the new decade:
These easy spiced almonds and pistachios are flavoured with cumin, cinnamon, paprika and orange zest, and go down a storm at Christmas and New Years parties! Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s At My Table (ad).
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp hot smoked paprika
zest of 1/2 orange
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp runny honey
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
100g (3.5 oz) blanched almonds
100g (3.5 oz) unsalted pistachios, shelled
Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees (320 fahrenheit).
In a large bowl, mix together the spices, orange zest (use the finest hole on your grater or a microplane), sea salt, honey and olive oil to make a thick paste. Set aside.
Spread the nuts across a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes until just golden, keeping a close eye on them as they can catch in just moments!
Tip the hot nuts straight into the spice paste and stir well with a rubber spatula until the nuts are well coated. Don’t use a spoon – unless you use a rubber spatula you’ll get lumps of the spice mix in your nuts rather than a nice even coating!
Spread the nuts across a large plate to cool before storing in an air tight container for up to a week.
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