Last weekend when Jacquie and I hosted a small dinner party for our friends we decided to both try out some new roasted nut appetizers. Jacquie made one and I made one and we had our friends to a “blind” taste test. Okay, maybe it wasn’t so “blind”… can you guess which one I made? The one with bacon, you say? You got me.
I got this idea when Jacquie and I ate at Bull City Burger and Brewery in Durham, NC a couple of weeks ago. If you’re ever visiting the Durham area I highly recommend checking this place out. It’s an independently owned burger joint that embraces the “farm to fork” concept with all of their food. The result is one really mean burger. They also have really great fresh-brewed beer. I have been dying to try making their “Bull Nuts” appetizer made from NC peanuts, bacon, sugar and salt. I decided to do a slight twist on these and make them with some spices and replace the sugar with maple syrup. Not-quite paleo with the peanuts but they came out really good and were actually better leftover.
Roasted Bacon and Maple Peanuts
- 16 oz roasted and lightly-salted peanuts
- 1 tsp each of dry mustard, cayenne and thyme
- 1/2 c. maple syrup
- 1/3 – 1/2 # bacon. I used uncured ends and pieces. They take a little longer to cook but are great if you are just going to chop them up to incorporate into a dish
- Cook and drain the bacon and chop into small pieces.
- Combine the spices, peanuts, bacon and maple syrup and mix to combine.
- Spread on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and roast at about 325 F for about 20-30 minutes, until the syrup is thickened but not burned.
Jacquie made mixed nuts with rosemary and orange. This recipe, which was originally from Real Simple used Trader Joe’s roasted unsalted nut mix with cashews, macadamias, almonds and pistachios. I am a huge fan of these nut mixes that you can buy without “filler nuts” and I love that you can get them unsalted. These are paleo except for the little bit of granulated sugar. I wouldn’t bother trying to replace that though because the crystals added something nice here.
Mixed Buttered Nuts with Rosemary and Orange
- 1# unsalted or lightly salted mixed nuts
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter (grass-fed preferred)
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary (fresh is key here, I don’t recommend subbing dried here)
- 1 tbsp fresh orange zest
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the nuts, sugar, rosemary, and zest and cook, tossing, until the sugar is melted and the mixture is fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Let cool and serve.