Category Archives: Nuts

Gluten Free Chex Mix

Gluten-Free Chex Mix

The holidays are over, but this classic party snack is perfect for any get-together. I’ve re-vamped it a bit to make it gluten-free using The Pioneer Woman’s recipe as a tasty starting point.

4 1/2 cups gluten-free Corn Chex
4 1/2 cups gluten-free Rice Chex
2 cups gluten-free pretzel sticks (Snyder’s Of Hanover or Glutino are both good)
3 cups mixed nuts (splurge for the extra-fancy ones, you’re worth it)
1 1/2 sticks butter
3 tablespoons gluten-free Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins is easy to find)
6 to 12 dashes Louisiana-style hot sauce
4 to 6 garlic cloves, grated
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Ground sea or kosher salt

Preheat oven to 250°F.

Pour cereal, pretzels, and nuts into a into a large mixing bowl or cake pan.

In a microwave-safe bowl, add butter, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, season salt, and onion powder and microwave until butter is melted. Stir together and taste. Add hot sauce and adjust seasonings as you see fit (I added a bit more seasoned salt and onion powder and went pretty heavy on the hot sauce).

Gluten Free Chex Mix

Slowly pour butter sauce over cereal mixture, tossing and stirring as you go.

Transfer mix onto one or two baking sheets (I left ours in the large cake pan that I mixed it in) and bake, checking and stirring every 15 minutes until mix is toasted and fragrant, about 1 hour.

Gluten Free Chex Mix

Remove from oven. Taste, and if you want to, grind just a bit of sea salt over it. Let cool and store in an air-tight container.

The Verdict: ★★★★★
Chex mix one of my favorite snacks and I’ve really missed it since going gluten-free. This recipe knocks it out of the park compared to the commercial versions. The fresh garlic makes a huge difference, as does the hot sauce. I can see making up a big batch of this for the Super Bowl.

Sweet & Spicy Almonds

Just in time for the holidays, my dear wife has been whipping up batches of these nuts for gifts and parties. It’s impossible to eat just one or two. Most people take a couple to taste and then quickly come back for a handful. As much as I like to pick on Martha, this is based on one of her recipes.

1/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2  1/2 cups whole, raw almonds
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon olive oil

Preheat your oven to 350°F.  Spread the almonds out onto a 12×18 jelly roll pan or rimmed baking sheet. Toast the nuts until they are fragrant and start to get golden-brown, about 10 minutes.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the sugar, salt, and cayenne pepper.

In a large skillet over medium heat, combine the water, honey, and olive oil . Cook until the mixture starts to bubble, about 1 minute. Add in the toasted almonds and stir until they are evenly coated.  Cook for another minute.

Stir in the sugar mixture and continue to cook until the mixture has thickened and the sugar starts to caramelize, about 2 minutes. Spread nut mix onto a baking sheet in a single layer and let cool to room temperature.

The Verdict: ★★★★★
Quick, easy, tasty – these have been a huge hit with everyone who has tasted them. There is a good bit of heat to them, and it hits you right up front, but then the sweetness catches up and you’re right back in the bowl for more.

Christmas Eve

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We’re in the middle of a blizzard so no cooking on the Big Green Egg ’til the snow stops. Tonight it’s roasted chestnuts for a snack and oyster stew for dinner.

Roasted Chestnuts

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Set chestnuts on a cutting board, flat side down. With a small, sharp knife cut an X in each chestnut. This lets the steam to escape while they are cooking and makes them a lot easier to peel.

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Put chestnuts cut side up in a low rimmed pan and bake 20-30 minutes until the shells burst open and the chestnut are golden brown. Pour into a dish towel-lined bowl, cover, and let cool for 10 minutes.

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As they are cool enough to handle, peel and enjoy!

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Oyster Stew

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2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1 pint oysters and liquor, separated
4 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 1/2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (Frank’s or Tabasco works well)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried parsley
Salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic, and celery and sweat until translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add celery seed and hot pepper sauce.  Add the reserved oyster liquor, cream, and milk and bring to a simmer. Do not let boil.  Add the oysters, lemon juice, and parsley and simmer until the oysters start to curl, about 3 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

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Serve with crackers and more hot sauce.