Salt and Chipotle Chile Almonds

Chipotle chiles are dried, smoked jalapeno peppers. Their rich, sweet-smoky, almost chocolate flavor makes them a welcome additions to almost anything in my house. In fact, there are few foods that my husband doesn’t think they improve. Although they are increasingly available in adobo sauce (a dark red chile and vinegar sauce) at grocery stores with good ethnic sections, I have found the ground or crushed form only through Penzeys Spices at www.penzeys.com or (800) 741-7787.

Makes 2 cups.

2 cups raw whole almonds, blanched or skin on
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon slightly ground chipotle chile

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Place all the ingredients in a medium-size bowl and mix until the nuts are well coated.

3. Transfer the almonds to the prepared sheet and arrange in a single layer. Place in the oven and cook, tossing every 15 minutes, until lightly browned, 40 to 45 minutes.

4. Remove from the oven, immediately loosen the nuts with a metal spatula, and set aside to cool before serving.

If you’re sipping: Serve these with lemonade, beer, or Bloody Marys.

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)