City Palate

The Travel Issue - March April 2017

6 Quick Ways with Almonds
Sep/Oct 2008

Almonds taste good and are good for you too. They are high in calcium, protein, antioxidant vitamin E and other good stuff. Un-blanched almonds are a good source of fibre. Almonds lend themselves to a lot of cooking combinations and permutations. Nuts get their best flavour and crunch from being toasted in the oven for about 15 minutes at 350°F. Let them cool completely before eating. Crunch!

1. Almost Starkers Almonds
Great for munching and crunching out-of-hand, combined with good dark chocolate and for chopping and tossing on salads. We keep these in stock at all times. Take 1 cup of whole almonds, skin-on and toss them into a metal pie plate. Drizzle with a little olive oil and toss with your hands until almonds are lightly coated. Spread almonds out on pie plate and lightly crumble Maldon plain or smoked salt over the nuts. Roast in a preheated 350°F oven for 10 minutes. Turn oven off and let almonds cool in the oven. Remove from oven and cool completely before eating. Dark, full-flavoured and crunchy. Yum!

2. Chocolate Almonds
Easy easy! Dump 1 cup of whole skin-on almonds onto a metal pie plate and toast in a preheated 350°F oven for 15 minutes. Remove and transfer to a serving plate. Microwave an ounce or two of your favourite chocolate until melted. Drizzle generously over nuts. Cool completely. Eat without sharing.

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These recipes are from the Almond Board of California. California is the world’s largest almond producer. The first three are good munchies with beer and wine.

3. Cumin-Lime Almonds
Preheat oven to 250°F. In a bowl, toss together with your hands 2 cups whole, skin-on almonds, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder until well coated. Pour onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons fresh lime zest (use a Microplane grater). Cool before serving.

4. Honey-Orange Glazed Almonds
Toast 2 cups whole, skin-on almonds in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes. Allow to cool. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or foil and lightly grease it. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add 3/4 cup honey and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Add almonds and stir constantly for 7 to 10 minutes, or more importantly, until honey turns a dark caramel colour. Stir in 1 tablespoon freshly-grated orange zest and quickly spread nuts in a single layer onto the baking sheet. Cool and break nuts apart to serve. Mmmm, crunch and caramel!

5. Vanilla Sugared Almonds

Preheat oven to 225°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons water, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg. Stir, until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons vanilla extract (yes, tablespoons). Add 2 cups whole, blanched almonds, stir to coat, spread in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool slightly, transfer to a large bowl and toss with ¼ cup turbinado sugar or Sugar in the Raw. Stir occasionally Cool completely before serving.

6. Almond Addiction
Combine 3⁄4 cup chopped blanched almonds, 7 tablespoons butter, 1⁄2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and 2 tablespoons milk in a pan over medium heat. Simmer for a few minutes, then pour onto a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake at 400°F for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Let cool on foil. When cool, peel off the foil and break up the brittle. Serve as is or crumble over vanilla ice cream and garnish with fresh fruit.