Nuts (the sequel)

I don’t really know how or when Ina Garten became a cultural icon, but somewhere along the way she became Camp. I guess it was her television show that introduced Garten and her Hamptons world to everyone.  A recent episode of 30 Rock poked fun at her relationship with her husband, Jeffrey, confirming (for me) that she is different than the other celebrity cooks. It is all sort of amusing and confusing to me.

Like many of you, I’ve been cooking with Ina Garten for years. Some of my favorite recipes come from her cookbooks (including my all-time favorite lasagna). She adds to her collection of books this month with the release of How Easy is That? (see!, she even has a catchphrase!).

The book is intended to provide home cooks with simple recipes for easy entertaining. The premise immediately confused me. Aren’t all of Gartens books full of simple recipes? I thought that was her thing. How Easy is That? is indeed full of easy, satisfying foods, most of which I would be happy to eat, but it all seems very familiar and ultimately uninspired. I found myself wondering if she had already included some of these recipes in past cookbooks (she hadn’t–but almost!). I think for those of us that have been following Garten for years, this book will be a bit of a disappointment. It lacks the energy and care that makes me return to her past books again and again. While overall this feels like a step in the wrong direction, there are some gems.
A favorite Garten recipe for Rosemay Cashews,  finds its way into most parties I host. She has included another spiced nut recipe in the new book. This time maple syrup, chipotle powder, and fresh rosemary are added to a mix of nuts and roasted in your oven. The results are delicious. This is the sort of simple recipe that makes us all love our Barefoot Contessa. With the holidays quickly approaching it is a wonderful recipe to have on hand for entertaining.

Chipotle and Rosemary Roasted Nuts (from How Easy is That? by Ina Garten)

  • Vegetable Oil
  • 3 cups whole roasted unsalted cashews
  • 2 cups whole walnut halves
  • 2 cups whole pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground chipotle powder
  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves, divided
  • Kosher salt

Preheat the over to 350°F.
Brush a sheet pan generously with the vegetable oil. Combine cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, the maple syrup, brown sugar, orange juice, and chipotle powder on the sheet pan. Toss to coat the nuts evenly. Add 2 tablespoons of the rosemary and 2 teaspoons of salt and toss again.

Spread the nuts in one layer. Roast the nuts for 25 minutes, stirring twice with a large spatula, until the nuts are glazed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with 2 more teaspoons of salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons of rosemary. Toss well and set aside at room temperature, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking as they cool. Taste for seasoning. Serve warm or cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature.

***This makes a lot of nuts. Feel free to cut it in half if you need to.

26 comments to “Nuts (the sequel)”

  1. Oh Ina…we just love everything about her. She makes us happy…and her recipes are delicious. These roasted nuts sound fabulous as well…just the thing to have on hand when our Hamptons neighbors stop by for a glass of wine…in our dreams…

  2. What a great looking recipe. I was playing around with a recipe a few months ago for Thai Sweet Chili Roasted Cashews but just couldn’t get it right so haven’t really attempted roasted nuts since…. looking forward to trying these with rosemary and chipotle – yum!

  3. I don’t know what I love more: Ina’s recipes or making fun of Ina. either way: these nuts are happening this Thanksgiving!!

  4. Ina is my idol!! her recipes are always so wonderful and i am so excited for her new cookbook.. these look delicious, can’t wait to try!

  5. It’s true, she’s so easy to make fun of, yet so brilliant. The best thing to come out of the Food Network, for sure. I’ve always thought she had the best job ever (ya know, making dinner for her husband on tv) :) I want to grab a handful of those roasted nuts through the screen! Guess I’ll have to make my own!

  6. Gotta love Ina – her manner is so calm and soothing, that even when things burn up in your face, everything will be ok. :o)

  7. I adore Ina! All of her books are outstanding and her newest one is on my list. Spiced nuts are the best – what a terrific way to kick up a bland nut and serve at a party or just eat watching TV. I must try this recipe!

  8. I love your blog! How did I not find you sooner?

  9. i always refer to ina for her fabulous recipes from all her previous 6 books… the recipes are trustworthy & delicious…always reliable & i feel confident when i re-create them…i love ina!
    i feel that her newest book is not in the same league as her others…but in viewing all the “how easy is that?” recipes, this nut recipe caught my eye as well.

  10. these’d be very dangerous in my kitchen. i don’t think i’d be able to stop myself from just eating a handful!

  11. Ditto, Kimberly! Thanks for finding me/leading me to your blog! Nice!

  12. In true Garten style this is simple, classy and do-able. With a London upbringing Garten wasn’t what I grew up with but my recent discovery of her recipes is making me sorry I didn’t come across her sooner. There’s no question that I must make these gorgeous spiced nuts right away.

  13. Finger licking good…am already thinking substitutes to adapt the recipe locally! These are wicked good! Love the chipotle in there!

  14. Thanks, Tim, for the frank book review. I’ll probably skip it if there are only a couple of inspired thoughts included. You may have just saved me $30. Yes, I’m still trying to figure out if Geoffrey is man or sheep.

    Would you comment on the level of spiciness in this recipe? I tend to like things a little hotter than most, and am always playing with that edge between my personal tastes and those of my guests.

    Still loving you, and digging my uber-cool L & D bag.

  15. Caroline Shields @ carolineskitchentable says:

    November 3rd, 2010 at 11:57 am

    I think it all changed when she built that barn.
    But I do love her. Her cookbooks are piled front and center on my kitchen counter. And you can’t beat that lasagna. Thanks for the post!

  16. Great recipe but I have one query. What would be the reason for using roasted cashew nuts in the recipe? The others are raw before roasting them.

  17. Hey Pam,
    I like things hot, too. These are not hot. You might want to add some cayanne if you’d like to up the heat a bit. Adding more chipotle will just make them taste more like chipotle.
    Caroline, LOL.
    Chris, Hmm. Cashews take longer to roast? Burn more quickly? Dunno. Anybody else? Maybe Ina is just playing with us.

  18. I l-o-v-e Ina! I love her and love to make fun of her. I could never really put my finger on what was so odd until my cousin pointed out that her portions are so wonky. For a dinner party of 8 she’ll make a dinky “company pot roast” and some baked potatoes, but for her and Jeffrey it’s a 20 pound brisket and all the fixin’s. I think it’s a hoot. But she still has some gems out there. In fact, I’m making her boeuf bourguignon tonight for a progressive dinner party tomorrow. I’ll be serving it with polenta, in case you’re wondering. I actually prefer her recipe to Julia’s. How bad can that be? LOL!

  19. I’ll admit – I can’t watch her for some reason. Jeffrey is sorta weird, and he’s always on the show because she’s always making him some chicken! ha ha. but I do like her recipes, and so instead I’ll use her cookbooks and online recipes, just not watch the show ;).

  20. I’ve cooked from the big boy cookbooks and they don’t compare to her tried and true recipes that work every time. True, Ina likes the butter and creams and the kinda healthy nothing, but her recipes on spot on in flavor. The pace of her show nearly puts me in a coma, but her odd assortment of friends fascinates me. My recipe for watching Ina: record the show, select closed captioning, and run at 1+ speed. Watch time: 20 minutes.

  21. I think I need these for week after next. Spot on.

  22. When I was visiting the US, I loved watching her on the Food Network. Too bad we don’t get her shows here. I like the Barefoot Contessa Back to basics book (which is the only book of hers I have). Everything I’ve tried from there has turned out beautifully!

  23. Mmmm bar nuts. Possibly the only instance where I can tolerate a walnut. These would be bad assss with brazil nuts.

  24. Haha! Ina does always say, “How easy was that?” I love Ina and her pecan bars! Delicious!

  25. If only I had checked your blog as I normally do a few days ago– I would not have had my sticky toffee nut disaster sitting in my kitchen now. Ina over Bon Appetit any day.

  26. i adore nuts and this sweet and savory mix had me checking my freezer to see what kind i had on hand to try this recipe. looks like i have to take a trip to trader’s. bummer….smile.

    i had to smile when you mentioned her “catch phrase”. reminded me of a chowder episode (not sure if you’re familiar with that cartoon. all of the characters are named after a food. it’s hilarious!) where chowder’s mentor, mung dahl, was in a cooking show and trying to come up with one with disastrous results.

    it’s kind of funny how most of the popular cooks have some sort of catch phrase. haven’t really heard one from jamie oliver yet (love him!) though on a recent show he referred to something as being ‘pucker’ – not because it was sour or tart – it was more a term of endearment but he surprised himself with his use of it claiming he hadn’t said it in about 10 years and had promised himself he never would.

    oh well. i thought it was ‘brilliant’!

What do you think?