By Shannon Voelkel
It’s official–less than one week to Thanksgiving. Yesterday, we here at Seasonedfork extolled to you the virtues of planning and preparing as much of your Thanksgiving meal as possible, starting with some Herb-Roasted Olives to keep on hand as nibbles.
It’s always good, as a host, to have out at least a couple of homemade bites for your guests to nosh on. This is especially true for occasions such as Thanksgiving, a holiday on which the only thing people overdo more than eating is drinking, if your family is anything like mine. These delicious snacks let your guests know that you’re really putting in the effort to give them a nice experience, with the added bonus of soaking up enough alcohol to keep people from careening through windows, or from pushing someone out one after a loud and angry discussion about politics. Having plenty of food for everyone ensures that everyone makes it to the table.
The nice thing about snack mixes like these is that they’re highly customizable–don’t like cashews? Leave them out! Not big on spicy foods? Decrease the amount of wasabi peas and sambal oelek! This recipe can be tailored to any and all palates or sensitivities. This weekend on the North Fork, pick up some Leaf Pile Ale from Greenport Harbor Brewery to match with the spice of the mix, and really wow your guests.
For a cute display and germ-free snacking, divide up the snack mix into individual portions and serve in anything from martini glasses to cupcake holders. It’ll add a lot more charm to your table than the ersatz bowl.
Makes 27 cups.
1/3 cup Tamari
1/2 cup nut oil, hazelnut or almond
3 cups Asian rice cracker mix, (double check the label to ensure there is no wheat!)
2 cups wasabi peas
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1½ cup almonds, roasted and salted*
1½ cup peanuts, roasted and salted*
1½ cup pistachios, roasted and salted*
1½ cup cashews, roasted and salted*
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cups toasted, salted pumpkin seeds
12 cups Rice Chex cereal
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste or sambal oelek
Preheat your oven to 275 degrees. Combine peas, nuts, rice cracker mix, pumpkin seeds, and Chex cereal in a large bowl, and set to the side.
Combine butter, maple syrup, Sambal Oelek, and Tamari in a medium saucepan, bringing to a simmer and whisking together until everything is fully dissolved. Add the mixture to the dry snack mix and toss together until completely coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then spread over 3 large baking sheets and bake, stirring and shifting 2-3 times, until just dry and toasted–about 35 minutes. Stir occasionally while letting the mix cool completely.
Serve, or store in air-tight containers for up to two weeks.
*Since buying roasted and salted nuts in bulk can be expensive, roast your own at home! Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spread the nuts evenly on a baking sheet, and drizzle with a bit of oil–totally optional. Roast in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, checking that they are browning, and stirring at least once to ensure an even roast. Remove from the oven, and season to taste.