Years ago, when I first started working, I used to make batches of sweet and savory nuts for my co-workers for Christmas. I’d gift them in decorative glass jars adorned with fancy holiday ribbons. It was an easy and economical way for me to give a little something to a lot people. For the life of me, I can’t find that recipe. Maybe it’s all for the better. Because, as I recall, it was edgy. The initial bite was a super-sweet sugary, cinnamon rush followed by a brief pause of plain toasted nuts and then an onslaught of extreme heat–from heavy doses of chili powder and cayenne pepper. In short, those nuts lacked balance. And back then, I didn’t know how to fix the problem. Fortunately, I’ve learned plenty since then and I’m happy to say my current rendition holds no surprises. From start to finish, the nuts carry a full-flavored, aromatic blend of brown sugar and Deep South spices. I thank my good friend Lea & Perrins for helping to bridge the gap. Okay. On to liquids!
All beer tastes good with nuts. And these Bayou Bar Nuts can actually make many undesirable beers tastes better! So I won’t impose my opinion on what I think you should drink. Instead, I’m sharing the names of three beers I’m dying to try. They are Bikini Blonde Ale, Big Swell IPA and Maui CoCoNut Porter from Maui Brewing Company. I’m ready to hit the beach every time I think about them! Unfortunately, I need to have them shipped here because they’re only sold in Hawaii and California. I haven’t placed my order as of yet, but I plan on doing so before week’s end. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Until next week …
Bayou Bar Nuts Recipe
4 cups roasted mixed nuts, salted or unsalted
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons Lea & Perrins (Worcestershire sauce)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place nuts in a large mixing bowl; set aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add brown sugar and cook, stirring frequently, just until sugar melts. Remove from heat and stir in Lea & Perrins. Pour mixture over nuts and toss until evenly coated. Add parsley and remaining ingredients; stir until thoroughly coated. Spread nut mixture in a single layer on a large rimmed baking lined with parchment paper. Bake, stirring every five minutes, until nuts are toasted and browned, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a baking rack and allow to cool and dry. Store cooled and dried nuts in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 6 months (bring to room temperature before serving). Makes 4 cups.