Katie and I enjoy cooking together, even if I’m a little more Nazi-like upon first trying a new recipe. I believe that you should try it by the book first and go from there. And sweet hell, when it comes to baking, those cups better be exact!
So, yeah, a little Nazi-like.
But, while we enjoy cooking, this past Saturday gave us our first laugh-out-loud culinary moment. For, this past Saturday I learned how to blanch almonds.
Turns out, blanching almonds is not only easy, but fun! Popping the skins of the nuts was akin to popping bubble wrap. A childish joy overtook us. I was trying to explain the easy way to skin them to Katie when I accidentally shot one at her face. We both paused to see what would happen next, and she broke out in such laughter that I lost it. She tried next and it went flying somewhere, still lost to the void of my room.
After the giggle-snort fest, the skinning of the almonds went super quick. Oddly enough, discovering how to blanch the almonds was the hardest part. I read everything from “soak for 15 seconds” to “soak for 3 minutes” to “just pay the extra money and buy skinned almonds.” For the record, here’s what I did:
- Bring enough water to cover your almonds to a boil. Dump the almonds into the water and let sit for 2-3 minutes.
- Immediately rinse the almonds in a strainer with ice cold water.
- Grabbing the almond by the larger end, squeeze it until it pops out of the skin. Insert your own zit reference here.
The reason we were blanching the almonds was because we wanted to attempt a recreation of the cayenne-cumin almonds from our San Francisco trip to Aziza. The final product was met with varying degrees of success. I think they need more seasoning. Katie remembers the almonds being sweeter. But for a first attempt, it’s not bad. And it’s also a super-quick dish to make for an appetizer or snack for you and your guests. We’ll be revisiting this in the coming weeks, but we need to get rid of these first 2 cups of almonds first.
C ayenne-Cumin Almonds
- 2 cups whole blanched almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 300F. Mix all ingredients in a medium sized, making sure the nuts are completely covered. Place the almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet, roast almonds until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Note: The other reason this is a great recipe? The 5th grader in you will have an endless supply of “how do my nuts taste?” jokes to last a couple weeks.