Friday, October 15, 2010

Smoked Walnuts

Did you know you can smoke walnuts? Usually when you think of smoked nuts you think of the smoked almonds. I am seriously addicted to those..wich is probably a good thing that they don't sell those here. However thats all about to change now that I know I can do this myself : )

I had a bunch of walnuts that needed to be used. I know you can freeze nuts but when you have tiny european freezer drawers like I do, you have to pick and choose what goes in there. I went hunting online to search out some walnut recipes. I came upon a section of spiced walnuts and decided to give it a shot. It takes all of 25 mins to whip these babies up plus additional time to cool off. If you have time and I highly recommend you doing so that you allow the walnuts or almonds to sit in an airtight container overnight. The flavors really come together after that point and have a much better flavor.

The next time I make these I am going to use almonds. Although the flavor was excellent,maybe even slightly to mellow,it didn't blow me away with the walnut flavor. I will use 3 cups next time,bump the smoked flavoring up by another 1/2 teaspoon and I think that will be a winning combo. The other thing you need to be careful of is the actual baking of the walnuts or almonds. You do not want them to burn. The nuts need to be totally dry but don't allow them to start turning dark..a semi burnt walnut is sorta icky.

Smoked Walnuts
1 large Egg White
1 TBSP Water
1 tsp. Hickory Liquid Smoke
2 TBSP White Sugar
2 tsp. Chili Powder
1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
3-4 cups Walnuts or Almonds
2 tsp. Kosher Salt

Pre heat oven to 325 or 160 celcius..make sure your oven rack is not at the top. You want it in the middle or even one below that. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the egg white and water until the white is nice and frothy/foamy. Add in liquid smoke and the seasonings minus the salt. Stir in walnuts and gently stir until walnuts are evenly coated. Sprinkle with salt and stir once more.

  Spread out onto baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 mins stirring twice. Start checking for dryness towards the end. I should of pulled mine out around the 15-20 min mark. It's ok for the walnuts to be lightly browned but nothing beyond that. The mixture needs to be dry and not wet. Cool thoroughly before transferring to an airtight container. The walnuts will continue to crispin up as they cool off. Can be left in container for up to a month at room temp..not that they will last that long : )