At Sunday's request, my family's new favorite:
Warm Mixed Nuts with Rosemary and Shallots
You can do this with any combination you like--I either do all pecans, or a mix of pecans, cashews, and pistachios, but just about anything works great. I usually pick up the nuts from some place like Fresh Market or Earthfare in the the bulk section, because I can get exactly how much I need and at a fairly reasonable price. If I'm just doing pecans, I get the giant bag from Sams.
5 cups nuts
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 small shallots, thinly sliced crosswise into rings (to yield about 1/4c.)
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced lengthwise
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place nuts in single layer on rimmed baking sheets. Toast until golden and fragrant, 8-12 min. Transfer nuts to large bowl and set aside.
Heat olive oil in skillet over MEDIUM heat. Carefully fry the garlic and shallots--you want them just golden and crispy, not too browned or burnt, hence medium heat only!--3-5 minutes, and transfer to paper towels to drain and crisp up.
Melt butter in the still-warm skillet with the left over olive oil, and pour over nuts. In a small bowl, mix the rosemary, cayenne, brown sugar, and salt - stir well to combine and sprinkle over the nuts. Toss in crispy garlic and shallots, and stir all really well. These are great served just a little warm, although we eat them at pretty much any temperature in my house. You can heat them up again in a 300 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Don't skimp on the shallots, when they get tossed with that brown sugar, they are little nuggets of heaven. I never thought I'd see anyone in my family pick through a bowl of pecans to get to some little shallot rings!
Hope you guys try 'em and like 'em!