I did manage to make one autumnal dish this week—and wasn’t it just Tuesday when I promised to share my snack creations more readily? Let’s talk about spiced nuts.
I know, right? On a trip to Ireland at 13, my mother took me to see the first Austin Powers sequel. She says she knew I was growing up when, at the snack stand, I expressed to her how inappropriate it was that we were ordering “hot nuts” and seeing a movie based on a similar crude humor. Oh how we laughed. Those spicy nuts sure were tasty.
When making a small batch, I don’t bother with the oven and prefer to toast and spice my nuts directly in a sauté pan. Medium low heat, 1 cup of walnuts, 1 tablespoon of butter (to help the toppings stick), 1 teaspoon Old Bay, a pinch of sugar for balance, and a splash of Worcester for kick, right at the end.
Like potato chips and crab, walnuts are a perfect vehicle for Old Bay with their strong flavor and satisfying texture. And Old Bay—a blend of spices the likes of which this world has never seen! I love the warmth from the cinnamon and cloves, the peppery paprika, and deep leafy finish of celery. My advice? Get your hands on some hot nuts. (Mom, don’t be gross.)