Warm walnuts, cold evening, fire pit

walnuts_-chandlers

What is another word for hidden treasure? Booty! And Chandler walnuts in their shells shipped directly from my sister-in-law’s family’s walnut farm in Marysville, CA is exactly that. There is nothing like these, eaten raw they have a buttery texture and bright, beautiful flavors that melt in your mouth and linger…

Roasted is a whole other thing. They are addictive.

So I have learned from my horse training friend Cari, that this recipe can be really horrible if you don’t follow directions. So when you get to putting the honey-pepper mix onto the nuts, make sure the baking sheet is hot and you add the mix a little at a time, not all at once. Who knows what size baking sheet you are using, who knows what sweet-to-salt balance you prefer? So just be reasonable and add a little at a time. More is not necessarily better here, or as Dean points out, better.

Method

  • Turn the oven to 400.
  • Spread a nice layer of unsalted butter on a large baking sheet and fill with a single layer of nuts.
  • Sprinkle kosher salt on them and put into the oven. After about 9 minutes, check on them.
  • Add some more salt, maybe a little more butter and stir them around. Cook a little longer.
  • Meanwhile, crush about a dozen peppercorns in a mortar and pestle, add them to a tablespoons honey.
  • Check the walnuts again and if they are browned, remove them.
  • Immediately spread a little bit of the honey-pepper mix with a spatulaon the baking sheet so it melts and stir the walnuts around in it. Add more salt.
  • Let sit for a few minutes and then taste. Add salt, maybe a little more honey-pepper.

Sit by the fire and drink a glass of wine while eating all the walnuts, trying not to be upset when you have to share.

firepit

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