Thanksgiving is such an important holiday to me, and millions of other Americans. Not only does it bring family and friends together to feast, but it’s also a remarkably personal holiday with people making their most cherished recipes that have prodigious sentimental meaning, often times being handed down from generation to generation.
I’m a traditionalist when it comes to cooking for Thanksgiving. I have never prescribed to trends when cooking my turkey. Brined, fried, Sous Vide, Dry-rubbed: not for me. Just an age-old, traditional roasted turkey, larded with butter, salt and herbs just under the skin. Add on a healthy dose of traditional sides, all stylishly presented in ironstone platters on a well appointed table and you are seated at my table.
One recipe of my own that has always been a crowd pleaser, and an annual tradition, is my Cumin-spiced Cashew Nuts. I have been making this recipe ever since I started my career catering and without fail, I am always asked for the recipe. I received this recipe from an old friend of mine in upstate New York and as tradition would dictate, for the past 23 years, these nuts have always made an appearance at Thanksgiving.
CUMIN SPICED CASHEWS
1 EGG WHITE
1 T. WATER
1 POUND SALTED CASHEWS
1/3 C. SUGAR
1 t. CUMIN
2 t. KOSHER SALT
1/2 t. CAYENNE PEPPER
PRE-HEAT OVEN TO 250 DEGREES
IN A MEDIUM BOWL, WHISK EGG WHITE WITH WATER UNTIL FOAMY
ADD CASHEWS AND TOSS TO COAT. PLACE IN A STRAINER FOR 2 MINUTES
COMBINE SUGAR, CUMIN, SALT AND CAYENNE. ADD TO NUTS AND TOSS
SPREAD NUTS ON A BAKING SHEET LINES WITH PARCHMENT
BAKE FOR 40 MINUTES. AFTER 40 MIN., STIR NUTS AND SPREAD OUT AGAIN
REDUCE OVEN TO 200 DEGREES, BAKE FOR 30 MINUTES LONGER
COOL TO ROOM TEMPERATURE, LIGHTLY BREAK UP NUTS, STORE IN AIRTIGHT CONTAINER