Party on, Garth: Spicy nut mix

I do love throwing a good party. There was a time in my life where my Sunset Park apartment was the official party headquarters for my group of friends, home to such epic fests as the Debauched Debutante’s Ball, and the Mistletoe Mafia’s annual Humbugfest. The glitter ran thick and the vodka rained like water. Sadly, things changed (as things often do); I moved into a shoebox in Park Slope (capacity: 3.2), our cast of characters rotated, and it became more difficult to throw a righteous shindig. As such, good parties were thin on the ground–until recently. For reasons unknown, the Good Party has started making a comeback.

Admittedly, my criteria for “good” has certainly changed–while once it involved a morning after spent scraping lime slices off the ceiling, it now tends to involve scraping lime juice into pitchers of muddled blackberries for fresh cocktails. (It still involves costumes and themes.) Where once Cheese-in-a-jar reined (still a food product still near and dear to my heart), I now prefer to set out an array of food actually found in nature. Well, almost. If this spicy, sweet, savory nut mix were found in nature, we as a species might never have left the forest.

Is this growing up? If so, maybe it’s not so bad.

Fire and spice nut mix
Adapted from Bon Appetit, June 2003

2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon chili powder (not chili seasoning, mind you)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 large egg whites
2 cups pecan halves
2 cups roasted peanuts
2 cups roasted almonds
1/2 cup crystallized ginger, minced

  1. Mix the first 8 ingredients in a small bowl; add egg whites and beat until slightly frothy.
  2. Add the nuts, toss to coat.
  3. Divide the nut mixture between baking sheets that have been lined with parchment paper; bake at 225F until nuts are slightly toasted and coating is dry–about 1 hr, 20 minutes. Stir every 20 minutes or so. Springle the nuts with more salt ang 5-spice powder, if desired.
  4. Transfer to bowl and stir in crystallized ginger.
  5. Sit back and let the compliments roll in.
In dinner party, snack

Email This Post Email This Post | Bookmark or Share | | Print This Post Print This Post