Hot Pepper Sesame Peanuts

Dark and nutty, toasted sesame oil is pressed from, well, you guessed it: toasted sesame seeds. It is most commonly used in Asian cooking, and once you use it in your cooking, it is hard to go back to the lighter, less fragrant, run-of-the-mill sesame oil. It does need to be used sparingly, as it has the potential to overpower almost any dish.

Makes 2 cups.

2 cups lightly toasted shelled peanuts
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¾ to 1 teaspoon chili powder, to taste
1½ to 2 teaspoons kosher salt, to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Place the peanuts, oil, garlic powder, ginger, pepper flakes, and chili powder in a medium-size bowl and toss until the nuts are well coated.

3. Transfer the nuts to the prepared sheet and arrange in a single layer. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.

4. Remove from the oven, immediately loosen the nuts with a metal spatula, sprinkle evenly with the salt, and set aside to cool for 1 hour before serving.

If you’re sipping: Sake would be my libation of choice. Not just for snacking: Include them in sesame noodles and shredded salads with chicken, shrimp, or crabmeat.

From Party Nuts! 50 Recipes for Spicy, Sweet, Savory, and Simply Sensational Nuts That Will Be the Hit of Any Gathering (The Harvard Common Press, 2002)