But don't worry, I won't suggest that you crack and peel all of the nuts for the Spiced Mixed Nuts in today's post. I'm just suggesting that rather than running to the store for a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates...or a bag of mixed spiced nuts...that you take the extra few moments to make something yourself. It will be better—in so many ways—than anything you could purchase.
Spiced Mixed Nuts
As with almost every recipe, this recipe should be seen as a template. Use it and adapt it to your tastes. The almonds, cashews, pecans and pistachios make up my favorite nut mixture. I love the varied colors and shapes of these nuts together, but you can choose your own mix or use all of one kind of nut. You will need 5 to 6 cups of nuts—make sure that they are raw and unsalted. I'm not crazy about walnuts when I use this particular method, they tend to become bitter and they also shed their skins into the mix which is a bit unattractive. I have never used them, but I imagine that skinned hazelnuts (filberts) would make a very nice addition. As with the nuts, the spices may be varied to please your palate. Remember that if you include a spice blend that includes salt (like curry powder) that you will need to reduce the salt in the recipe.
1 T. cumin
1 t. paprika
1 T. coriander
1/8 t. cayenne (or more if you like more heat)
2 1/2 t. Kosher salt (if using iodized, use 2 t.)
1 T. sugar
2 egg whites
1 1/2 c. almonds
1 1/2 c. cashews
1 1/2 c. pecans
1 1/2 c. pistachios
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites just until foamy—don't overdo it, you are just trying to break the whites down so they will be more fluid and will easily coat the nuts.
Cool and serve. Store air tight at room temperature.