World Cup Roasted Nuts

Posted by hsimpsongrossman on July 20, 2014

My DNA is the proud owner of dominant football loving genes from both sides.  Zayde, my maternal grandfather, a learned, observant orthodox Jew and a die-hard Maccabi Haifa fan, could barely wait for Shabbat to end so that he can turn the radio on and get the weekend’s scores.  Granddad, my paternal grandfather, was a proud owner of Arsenal shares.  Legends of my uncle climbing the Maccabi Haifa stadium fences at a very young age must have had a remarkable affect on my siblings, arch rivals ever since they could kick (most likely, already in-utero), one an avid Manchester United fan while the other a relentless supporter of Liverpool.

There must have been one hell of a divine intervention working on Better Half‘s behalf, as he was accepted to my family despite being affiliated with Beitar Yerushalayim, our oldest and most despised enemy. In fact, Mama was so worried that the family heritage will be lost due to my questionable choice in marriage, that the first thing she did, upon arriving at the big apple to see her first born grandson, was to adorn his bassinet with a green Maccabi Haifa scarf.

World Cup Roasted Nuts From a Young Age
From a Young Age

Sadly, my NYC period did not only cost me my British accent but also my passion for football.  It took a few embarrassing instances to understand that when Americans talk about football they mean a totally different sport and that they find ours boring (pretty odd coming from people who patiently watch endless baseball games).  Coupled with the discrepancy between airtime allotted to classic American sports in comparison to that allotted to “soccer” and you might understand why slowly but surely professional basketball took the place of football in my heart (and in Perfect Son‘s wardrobe).

World Cup Roasted Nuts 4 Months Later
4 Months Later

Thank God, those solid genes found their Darwinian way and got the better of my kids (despite their American citizenship).  They are all engaged in the game in various ways and degrees, from actively playing for school teams, wearing trendy football apparel, collecting playing cards and paraphernalia,  through hosting World Cup matches parties.

The standard menu for football viewing parties features, very much like football/baseball parties, items such as: hamburgers, fries, cold cut sandwiches, dips, bear and fuzzy sugary drinks.  Not exactly my cup of tea.

So, for the 2014 World Cup finals I treated myself to my own healthy football party nosh.  Credit for this fabulous healthy snack goes to Yael, whom I’ve introduced to you few posts ago (the one who saved me from plain yogurt on Pessach with her Almond Spice Granola).  

World Cup Roasted Nuts The Good The Bad and The Healthy
The Good The Bad and The Healthy

Yael is my very own devil’s advocate.  I present her with “logical” reasons for not eating this food or that (preferably, neither) and she calmly rationalize my irrational culinary beliefs.  When, for example, I tried to convince her that I’m too busy to eat anything on Fridays, she replied:  “what’s the problem? Put some nuts in a bowl, and snack a long while you work”.

“Aha!” I said, “I don’t eat raw nuts! they bring back memories of dark days of eating nearly nothing but fruit and raw nuts!”
“Who said anything about eating them raw? salt them, roast them (just for a few minutes, to retain as much as possible of their virtues).  Mix with dried fruit, you get homemade trail mix.”
Now she was talking – I love trail mix granola bars! and trail mix cookies! Oops..she did it again!

World Cup Roasted Nuts Sinfully Good
Sinfully Good

It sounded too easy to be true, so I had to conduct my own research and make some mistakes.  At first I followed those recipes calling for soaking the nuts in water prior to roasting them, to enable the salt to stick.  Thank God I made a very small first batch as there was no crunch to them.  I tried again, this time following Yael’s shorter way.  They came out crunchy, salty and sinfully good.  Paired with craisins, chopped glazed ginger or dates, they are too good to be healthy.

World Cup Roasted Nuts Salt Glass
Salt Glass

Don’t be alarmed by the large amount of salt as most of it sticks to the baking parchment and stays there.

World Cup Roasted Nuts Wheat and chaff Separated
Wheat and chaff Separated

World Cup Roasted Nuts on the Spot: Spread the nuts on a baking sheet.  Mix salt and water and sprinkle on the nuts.  Bake.  Voilà!

World Cup Roasted Nuts

Ingredients, for 3 cups:

3 cups mixed nuts (a combination of any or all of the following: almonds, pistachios, pecans, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews), skin on

2 heaped tablespoons of table salt

2 tablespoons of water

Method:

Heat oven to 390 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).

Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

Spread the nuts in one layer on the baking parchment.

World Cup Roasted Nuts Winning Combination
Winning Combination

In a small bowl mix salt and water well.

World Cup Roasted Nuts Enhanced Saline
Enhanced Saline

Using your fingers, sprinkle the salt and water mixture over the nuts and toss them until they are evenly covered.

World Cup Roasted Nuts Ruffled Up
Ruffled Up

Bake for about 7-8 minutes until golden and dry.  Do not over bake.

World Cup Roasted Nuts All Set
All Set

Store in an airtight container for about 10 days (mine usually last no longer than 4-5 days).

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