Aunt Suzy says . . . 

This recipe was in the same April 2012 issue of Bon Appetit as the Spicy Chicken with Rhubarb Salsa and looked to me to be the perfect accompaniment – and it was!  This was fairly easy to make and I have a hunch it will be in regular rotation along with our other favorite rice sides, Green Rice and Sparkle Rice.  All three are great served with chicken and fish.

Makes 4-6 servings

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 1/2 teaspoons black, brown, or yellow mustard seeds

1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric

1 small onion, minced

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 large or 2 small Fresno chiles or red jalapeños, cut into thin rings

2 cups white Basmati rice

4 2×1-inch strips lemon peel (yellow part only)

3 cups water or chicken stock

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 cup roasted cashews

Heat the oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the mustard seed and tumeric and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring, until the mustard seeds start to pop.  Add the onion, garlic and the chile and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly to make sure the tumeric doesn’t burn.  Add the rice and stir to thoroughly coat.  Add the lemon peel, the liquid and the salt.  Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer over low heat until the liquid is completely absorbed, 15-20 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice.  Let stand 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork and stir in the cashews.

Sweet-Spicy Nuts

December 18, 2011

Aunt Suzy says . . .

I learned about this delicious holiday nut recipe from my upstairs neighbor, Krisztina, a few years ago.  I have made them a few times for gifts during the winter holiday season, and they are always a hit.  The bonus is that these nuts are easy and fast, so you can make a bunch of batches quickly.  You have lots of options – for example, I always use a variety of nuts; Krisztina tends to use only pecans.  The original recipe didn’t include any dried fruit, but Krisztina’s addition of dried cranberries really ups the tastiness.  The candied ginger is my addition, and this year I tried it with candied Meyer lemon peel, which I had received as a gift.  Yum!!

Yields 3 Cups

Preheat oven to 350°.  Generously oil a baking sheet.  (I place foil on the baking sheet before oiling)

¼ cup water

¼ cup sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

½-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon cayenne (optional – although not in my book!)

3 cups shelled nuts ( I use a combination of raw pecan halves, raw almonds, raw walnut halves and roasted/unsalted cashews)

½ cup dried cranberries (optional)

¼ cup diced crystallized ginger, candied lemon or candied orange peel (optional)

In a saucepan on medium-high heat, stir together the sugar, water, salt, pepper, cardamom, cinnamon and cayenne and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and stir constantly for a minute, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture has thickened.  Add the nuts and stir to coat.  Turn the coated nuts onto the prepared baking sheet and spread them out in a single layer.

Bake until browned, 10-15 minutes, stirring once after 5 or 6 minutes.   NOTE:  watch carefully!  I baked them for 12 minutes and they burned.  10 minutes was perfect for me, but your oven might be different.

Allow the nuts to cool, break apart any clumps and then mix in the cranberries and ginger.