Pretty much my favorite place to do grocery shopping is Trader Joe’s. Well, that is because there isn’t a Wegmans close by (DC residents, have you heard the latest rumor about the Fannie Mae building on Wisconsin Ave and them looking at the space??).
Anyway, there is of course point-of-purchase stuff at TJ’s and one I opted to grab recently was their Mixed Nut Butter. It’s a blend of Dry Roasted & Salted Almonds, Cashews, Walnuts, Brazil Nuts, Hazelnuts & Pecans. Sounds great. I’m just not a huge fan of the Brazil nuts, but I’ll eat them. It doesn’t say smooth anywhere, which is cool, too.
The flavor was ok, but it was almost too many flavors fighting with each other. When you buy mixed nuts you can taste each one on its own. I also love chunky nut butter and it was a bit too smooth, for me. Not much salt in it, though salt was an ingredient. Not something I’ll buy again, but glad I tried it. Price was $5.99, I think. Not cheap, especially for the size. Totally worth the test.
Had a party to attend the other night and wanted to take something a little different. After flipping through a recent issue of Food & Wine came across a good sounding recipe — Popcorn with Sesame-Glazed Pistachios. All flavors sounded perfect so to the kitchen I went.
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I made air popped stuff in a microwave container I have, so didn’t need this oil)
1/2 cup popping corn
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 cups shelled unsalted pistachios (8 ounces)
-Preheat the oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large saucepan, combine the vegetable oil and popcorn, cover and cook over moderate heat until the corn starts to pop. Cook, shaking the pan until the popping stops, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the popcorn to a large bowl and season lightly with salt.
-Wipe out the saucepan. Add the olive oil, sugar, sesame seeds, soy sauce, garlic powder and 2 teaspoons of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Add the pistachios and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Scrape the pistachios onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, until bubbling. Scrape the pistachio mixture into the popcorn and toss well. Let cool before serving.
The mix can be made early in the day and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Prep-wise, not as easy as I expected. The pistachios did not get crusted/coated. I got clumps of sesame seeds with soy sauce and a glaze over the pistachios. But, overall, the taste was nonetheless delicious. So, was glad I tried the recipe. Would totally make it again.