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nibble on this cocktail snacks
by Yee-Fan Sun
 1 2
continued from page 1

rosemary cashews
A December or two ago, my brother’s very industrious girlfriend whipped up an amazing assortment of tasty treats to give out as Christmas gifts. Among the goodies lucky recipients enjoyed was a big bag of rosemary cashews, which were so yummy that they lasted all of an afternoon in our household before we were left with nothing but crumbs. Eager to reproduce these fabulous nuts, I hunted down a recipe. It turns up all over the place online, but is generally attributed to Ina Garten (aka The Barefoot Contessa). My version reduces the rosemary a bit, as I think the herb can get a bit overpowering; if you’re a huge fan, you can double the amount, or simply sprinkle in more rosemary to taste.

1 lb. unsalted cashews
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves, chopped up well
2 tsps. dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp. melted butter
1/2 tsp. cayenne (halve this if you’re a chile wimp)
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 325F. Melt the butter and remove from heat; stir in the rosemary, sugar, cayenne and salt. Toss the nuts with the butter herb mixture, then spread into a baking pan. Throw them in the oven for 7 minutes, until warmed through. Let cool a bit and serve while they’re still a little warm, or cool completely and store in an airtight container.

marinated kalamata olives
You could pay a lot for ho-hum marinated olives from a schmancy gourmet store, but it’s so much more affordable to buy a jar or can of plain kalamatas at the supermarket, then make up your own marinade. This potent crushed-red-pepper-packed version is very tasty, but feel free to experiment with whatever oils, vinegars (or citrus), and herbs you like.

8-10 oz. unpitted kalamata olives (about 2 cups)
2 tsps. paprika
2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed and peeled
2 bay leaves
¼ tsp. dried thyme
2 tsps. crushed red pepper (this produces a good amount of kick; add to taste if you’re worried)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar

Drain the olives of their juice, then slide into a mixing bowl or big glass jar. Toss all the remaining ingredients except olives into a small saucepan, and gently bring to a low simmer over medium heat. Pour the warmed mixture over the olives, and marinate at room temperature for a few hours, stirring from time to time. To store, toss into an airtight container (or just screw on the lid if you’ve been marinating in a jar), and refrigerate. Marinated olives will easily keep for a week or two.


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