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Spiced Almonds

Recipe from Gillian Duffy's cookbook, Hors d'Oeuvres, William Morrow & Co., 1998

English-born Gillian Duffy is Culinary Editor of New York magazine. Gillian was greatly influenced by summers spent in France and her father's farm in Sussex, England.

Yield: 20 servings
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 cups whole blanched almonds

Mix the salt, cumin, ginger, red pepper flakes, and sesame seeds together with 1/4 cup sugar in a large bowl.

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium heat. Add the nuts and stir continuously until they start to smell fragrant, taking care not to burn them, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle in 1/2 cup sugar and shake the pan occasionally to keep the nuts from burning. Stir only when the sugar starts to melt and caramelize. Remove the sauté pan from the heat when the nuts are a dark golden brown and smoking slightly.

Add the nuts to the spice mixture and toss them quickly to coat well. Spread them out on a nonstick baking sheet. Using two forks, separate the nuts from one another while still hot. When cool enough to handle, finish separating them by hand. This must be done quickly; once the nuts become cool and the caramel sets, they are difficult to separate.

When they are cool, store in an airtight container. They will keep for 2 to 3 weeks.

 



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