Sriracha Sea Salt Sprinkle and Spicy Roasted Almonds

>> Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sriracha Sea Salt Sprinkle

Last Christmas, we send bundles of herb blends to our family, including this Sriracha sea salt sprinkle, Joe's Rib Rub, and his Grillmaster's Blend. People are already clamoring for refills on all the bottles, and we're happy to make more!

The home smells wonderful while the Sriracha salt is drying. We keep a bottle of the seasoning right next to the stove because we add it to a lot of dishes that need just a little kick and a bit of salt at the same time: omelettes, roasted potatoes, corn on the cob, steamed veggies, and so on. It's also wonderful on popcorn, or one of our favorite snacks, roasted nuts.

Tuesday night our bible study group met at our place, so we were making snacks for people to nibble on while we studied the story of the wedding in Cana. We learned some pretty interesting things about Jewish marriage customs in the first century A.D. For example, men would ask their father's opinion on a woman he wanted to marry, before formally going to the woman's father to ask permission to marry her. When the father and the bride-to-be agreed, they made a covenant together, then the bridegroom would build a wedding chamber in his father's house for them to live.

When the place was ready, the man would do a mock kidnapping in which he and his friends would take the woman, her friends, and sisters on a parade through the street, laughing and joking and singing. Pretty festive, right? Once they got back to his father's house, they would have a seven-day party that ended with a huge feast. That's where the story of Jesus turning water into wine would have happened.

It sounds just as elaborate as weddings are today, or maybe even more so. I can't imagine having to plan a seven-day celebration! It's pretty likely they would have served almonds and sea salt at the feast as a Mideast food staple, so I will use that as my very awkward segue into two quick and delicious recipes.

Spicy Roasted Almonds

Sriracha Sea Salt Sprinkle

2 cups fine sea salt
1 cup Sriracha sauce
2 tbsp lemon pepper
2 tbsp dried oregano

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Stir together all ingredients and spread onto a baking pan. Bake slowly in the oven, stirring every 5-10 minutes, for about 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 225, and continue baking and stirring for 30-60 minutes more, until the salt is completely dry.

If the salt is too coarse after it's fully dry, whirl it in a blender, food processor, or spice grinder until it is the consistency you like. Store in an airtight jar.

Makes 2 cups.

Spicy Roasted Almonds

12 oz unblanched whole almonds
4 tbsp butter
1/4 cup Sriracha sea salt (or more, to taste)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread out the almonds on a baking sheet. Melt the butter, then allow it to cool slightly, Stir in the Sriracha salt. Pour the mixture over the nuts and stir them so that they are completely coated.

Bake for 5 minutes, then stir the nuts and bake for about 5 more minutes. Take them out before they look completely browned and toasted; they will continue cooking for several minutes after you remove them from the oven. 

These are best if you make them a day ahead and let the spices develop. Store in a plastic bag or airtight container until ready to serve. These make great little gifts too, packed into plastic gift bags and tied with some pretty ribbon.


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