Thursday, December 19, 2013

"Nuts" to start My Holiday Cooking

Dec 18 2013

Christmas is getting close so I smoked some nuts today to have for snacks. I found a recipe for chili lime almonds at Katheryn’s Kitchen blog that sounded good. She did hers in the oven but I adapted it to my smoker to add some smoke flavor. I had 3 lbs. of almonds and the recipe was for one pound so I doubled it and did two pounds. I also had a pound of pistachios to do.

For the pistachios that I have done before I stir in two tablespoons of melted butter per pound and add seasoning. You could also use olive oil and your favorite seasoning, my favorite seasoning for them is Penzey’s sandwich sprinkle. It is salt, garlic, parsley and the Italian seasonings.

I usually smoke the pistachios at 170 deg. for two hours; they are already roasted so you don’t need much heat. Reading more on smoking almonds I found for them it is best to smoke at 225 to 250 deg. for 2 to 3 hours when using any surgers in the seasoning mix, marinade. It’s also best to let the almonds in the marinade for several hours in the fridge before smoking. To save pellets and time I did the pistachios along with the almonds but just for an hour and 15 minutes. I did the almonds for 2 hours and 20 minutes.

The pistachios came out great but I didn’t think my almonds were as chili or lime tasting as I thought they would be. They may be better done as the recipe in the oven on parchment paper so they set in the marinade and caramelize. I think I lost a lot of the seasoning and marinade in the perforated pan I used.

Our daughter is coming from the Chicago area and our son, wife and the grandson will be here and we are having dinner on Christmas Eve, holidays are the only time I call it dinner instead of supper. I am smoking chicken and then shredding it for chicken sandwiches. My sides will be cheesy scalloped potatoes, green bean casserole and some fresh corn I have vacuum packed and frozen.

We will start with a late lunch having some appetizers, shrimp cocktail, and some egg rolls and spring rolls. Then we will work into having dinner about 5:30. The spring and egg rolls I ordered from a local Philippine lady who is selling them to help her family back in the Philippines. She lost her Aunt and Uncle in the recent floods and other family members lost their home. She delivers them frozen for $8.00 a dozen. I got a doz. of each and will donate some extra. I will know that the extra will go directly to some who really need it.

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it and for all who don’t; may you have a Happy New Year’s Holiday.

Ingredients for the almonds

My favorite juicer

Marinade sauce

Almonds ready to smoke

Pistachios ready to smoke

On the smoker and the pistachios are done

The Chili Lime Almonds

Ready for Christmas

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