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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Thai Glazed Cashews

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I have another story of my ridiculousness in college, bear with me. This time it doesn't involve sleeping outside in the middle of winter. Nope, today it's about a little run-in I had with cashews. It was the end of my freshmen year and I had a ton of extra meals left on my meal plan. Not wanting them to go to waste, I headed to the student union building, where we could "buy" food with our leftover meals. Most people stocked up on those bottled frappacinos or freshly baked brownies that they could take home to their families.

Me? I settled for a 5 lb canister of salted cashews. A 5 lb canister of cashews that cost me 9 meals...aka $27. I'm not sure how or why this sounded like a good transaction, but I had a craving for cashews and before I knew it, I was lugging the can across campus.

Twenty-four hours later (twenty-four,  I kid you not!), the 5 lbs of cashews had disappeared. Into my stomach. I was full of good decisions that day!

You don't need me to describe the stomach pains I endured. I try to block out the twenty-four hours after the massive cashew consumption. Don't try it, trust me on this one.
Now that I've completely grossed you out, how about a recipe featuring cashews?! I've obviously recovered from my little run-in several years ago and my love affair with cashews is stronger than ever (just in moderation now, always in moderation!). These thai glazed cashews are a little addicting, but I made sure to share this time around! I expected more of a kick from the spices but they were fairly mild; up the cayenne and chili powder a little bit if you want a bit more heat! These are a great food to set out at a party...make them up to a week ahead of time and store in an airtight container until you're ready to serve!

One Year Ago: Cilantro Lime Black Bean and Sweet Potato Pita Sandwiches
Two Years Ago: Zucchini Artichoke Spinach Quiche with Bulgur Crust

Thai Glazed Cashews
recipe from about.com

-3-4 cups plain roasted cashews
-2 egg whites
-3/4 cup white sugar
-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
-1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
-1/2 tsp sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg whites until fluffy. Add sugar, cayenne pepper, chili flakes, and salt. Stir well to combine.
3. Add the nuts, mixing well to toss evenly with the sugar-spice mixture. Pour the mixture out onto the prepared baking sheet, making sure they're spread evenly. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until nuts are light golden and look candied.
4. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before breaking the nuts up with your hands. Allow to sit at room temperature, uncovered, for up to 24 hours to crisp up. Store in an airtight container.