M-J’s Roasted New Mexican Chile Almonds, © 2007
Soak one pound (16 ounces) of raw almonds in brine (I use health-promoting Himalayan salt) and red chile powder (New Mexican is the best). A teaspoon of sugar or honey added to the brine will ensure that the mixture adheres to the nuts. I like to use agave nectar when it is available. After ten minutes, drain them and spread almonds out on a baking sheet. Reserve the chile/salt liquid. Roast in medium-hot oven for half an hour. Test for crunchiness only when completely cooled. If they are not tasty or crunchy enough for your taste, repeat the process by just dredging the almonds in the reserved liquid, then bake again for ten to twenty minutes, being careful not to burn the nuts. Almonds ought not to be eaten raw, as they contain a small amount of cyanide until they are roasted. A three-pound bag of Diamond Raw Almonds from California is available at Sam’s Club for about ten dollars. These roasted nuts are an excellent party offering. Roasting the nuts this way is superior to coating them with oil, because your guests, even if they’re not opposed to the stuff, won’t welcome it all over their clothes.