What do my favorite snacks, i.e. kettle corn, chocolate-covered potato chips, and Costco’s cashew, almond and pumpkin seed clusters have in common? The irresistible combination of salty and sweet.
And while spiced, candied nuts are certainly nothing new (my previous go-to combined almonds, candied sugar, cumin and cayenne), this Thai snack mix ups the ante by combining cashews, dried coconut, honey and fresh red jalapeno chile pepper into an addicting and slightly spicy treat.
And unlike many of the spiced nut recipes out there, this cashew mix is made on the stove-top. And why, exactly, is that important or noteworthy? Well, you could already be enjoying the fruits of your labor in just about the same amount of time it would take you to preheat your oven. In my book, that’s a good thing. Dangerous, but good.
And for my fellow foodies who are similarly without access to Trader Joe’s (I feel your pain!), your best bet for tracking down raw, unsalted cashews would probably be your local Asian market or health food store.
Spicy Cashew and Coconut Snack Mix
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
* 1 Tablespoon coconut or canola oil
* 2 Tablespoons honey
* 2 cups raw, unsalted cashews
* 1 cup shredded unsweetened, dried coconut
* 1 red Jalapeno chile, seeded and minced
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* pinch freshly ground pepper
Heat the oil and the honey in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the cashews, stir to coat and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes. Add the coconut and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until both the cashews and the coconut are beginning to turn golden.
Add the chile pepper, salt and ground pepper and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the cashews and the coconut are both golden brown and the chile has toasted a bit. Remove from heat immediately and transfer to a serving bowl. Taste and add additional salt, if necessary.
Adapted from The Food and Cooking of Thailand by Judy Bastyra and Becky Johnson