warm, spiced walnuts

          whenever i catch a visual of catherine zeta jones i always say, "there's my friend catherine". once, she and i shared a bench seat at the iridium for a set of pat metheny on the guitar. our escorts, michael and jim were there too, each one on the other side of catherine and me. we were all part of the same, loose club of jazz lover's that night, and catherine and i were the dolls on the bench, against the back wall. 
          at a jazz joint, the cocktail tables run together like the harmonies of the music, bumping one into the other. the waitresses wear smokey make-up, and low-cut tops, and i depend on the room to be dark and moody. it all makes for a hip vibe to go with a cool cocktail, and sometimes a bowl of mixed, warmed cocktail nuts. my snacker, jim, will eat a whole bowl, one by one while sipping his bourbon, straight, no chaser. when a fresh bowl appears on the table, it always makes him smile . . . that, and the waitress's cleavage.
          here is my take-five-recipe for warm, spiced walnuts. i keep a jumbo bag of raw walnuts so i can serve jim a bowl during cocktails if he needs a bite to tide him over. for his part, jim meters out the jazz on the stereo to fill our rooms with the sway and swing. some nights, we groove just like when we're at a club, and i get that same smile from him when i refill the snack bowl.
• olive oil
• 2-3 cups of raw, whole walnuts
• smoked chipotle chili powder
• pinch of cumin
• kosher salt
or/ substitute the seasoning with:
rosemary, and a little thyme
1. coat the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil and heat it on med. until it is shimmering.
2. add the nuts and stir to coat them. add a little more olive oil if needed until the all nuts are shiny.
3. sprinkle a little of the spices and salt over the nuts until you can smell their fragrance.
4. taste for flavor and add a little more spice if needed.
5. serve them warm and make a hungry crowd happy.


jim said...

very nice memory! well put. but... and the waitress's cleavage. i rarely notice cleavage... unless i'm wearing sunglasses.
here's to you!

Pineapplesforme said...

Great recipe for nuts.. aren't they heavenly!