Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Dec 22, 2011

Spiced Bitter Bar Nuts

Bitters are truly amazing.  I really only thought of them as being in cocktails until I bought Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All.  This recipe for flavored, toasted nuts comes from that book and they are truly addictive.  I made these for my holiday brunch/cocktail party and I had to keep filling up little bowls of them.  They're the right amount of sweet, spicy and salty, and are even more amazing when served warm (although they'll last up to a few days if you toss them into some tupperware).  My friends tend to have a spicier palate so the full teaspoon of cayenne was just fine, but feel free to adjust for taste.  I used Angostura bitters because the flavor always reminds me of Christmas.  I'm excited to try these with some other spices and herbs, and vary up the bitters with Peychauds or my Buzzkill Coffee Pecan bitters.  These are sure to become a Lush Chef cocktail party staple.

Spiced Bitter Bar Nuts - makes 4 cups
  • 4 cups unsalted and raw nuts - I used a mix of cashews, pecans, almonds and walnuts
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tbs finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (for folks who can't handle as much spice, use half the amount)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 1 Tbs Angostura bitters
  • 1 Tbs coarse sea salt (I used a nice flaky finishing salt)
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Spread the nuts out on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes (shake the nuts around on the pan at the 5 min mark).
- Combine the brown sugar, butter, rosemary, cayenne, cinnamon, honey and bitters in a large bowl.
- Add the nuts to the bowl and mix thoroughly so they're nicely coated.
- Add the salt and mix again.


J.Roth said...

So good. I added some garlic powder to these as I felt they were lacking some punch.