Right now I’m about done with March Madness, as in my eyes are two basketballs and I’m reciting beer commercials by heart. Here in the final days of the Final Four there is an ugly turn toward March Mystery – will I stay sane? Does the game really hold life-altering consequences? Will we ever watch a movie again?
Well Rock Chalk Jayhawk and all that, but the only game I control is in the kitchen, and that means whether our beloved Jayhawks win or lose win, the situation calls for serious snacks.
So I make Sugar Curried Almonds.
They have easy grab-ability and hit every major snack point: crunchy, salty, sweet, and plentiful. Nutritious almonds redeem the crystallized crust, and believe me, that’s good – because on the muncher’s addiction scale, these toasty little gems rate very, very high.
Time to get nuts! Almonds, curry powder, sugar, salt, egg white.
Toast the almonds on a baking sheet and cool slightly. Transfer to a bowl, and breathe in their sunburned goodness; now you know the meaning of almond joy.
Whisk the egg white to frothy with a little water, and pour over the cooled almonds.
Add sugar the way Chef Kader, my mentor, would – “like the fallen snow.”
A little curry and a little salt…
…and now we stir. And fold, and stir. And fold…
..and stir. Fold and stir until the mixture comes together and completely coats the almonds.
Spread the almonds on a lightly sprayed baking sheet, pressing to make an even layer.
Bake about one hour, occasionally pulling the pan and carefully turning the almonds.
You may leave the kitchen, but it won’t be for long. Few aromas are this cunning and spicy and curling. This is a smell that demands you stand by the oven and wait.
It can linger in your kitchen for days -
- but the snacks won’t last half that long.
Sugar Curried Almonds
1 pound (about 5 cups) whole almonds
1 egg white
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon salt
Preheat oven to 250 F.
Toast almonds on a baking sheet about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant. Cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl, whisk egg white with 1 teaspoon water until frothy.
Stir in the almonds and sprinkle with sugar, curry powder and salt. Mix well.
Lightly coat the baking sheet with vegetable cooking spray. Spread the almonds in a single layer on the sheet. Bake approximately 1 hour or until nuts are dry, stirring once or twice.
Store at room temperature in an airtight container, up to one month.
Nut note: This recipe is also the perfect cocktail nibble. Put in bowls around your party and watch them disappear.
recipe adapted from Real Simple