Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Smoked Almonds

This recipe isn't for everyone as it requires a smoker. There's none of that namby-pamby "smoke flavoring" here. If you do have one and are an almond lover, rejoice! Not only can you greatly reduce cost by smoking your own almonds, you'll probably enjoy the taste a lot more. Keep an eye out for sales on unroasted, unsalted almonds and buy them in bulk.

While it is a multi-day task, it's highly rewarding. I like to soak the nuts Friday night, dry them on Saturday, and smoke them on Sunday. The process isn't very labor-intensive until smoking day.
Make sure to keep your nuts away from the hottest part of the smoker. Otherwise, the back-breaking work of sorting the good nuts from the burned ones will make you thankful that you're not a professional almond sorter. It will also make you appreciate the next can of perfectly roasted nuts you purchase. Somewhere, in some third world country, some child sorted nuts for 12 hours a day to help fill that can.

Smoked Almonds

2 lbs unroasted, unsalted almonds
2 cups kosher salt
1 quart water
Hickory or Maple wood

1. In a large pot, combine the water and salt. Stir to dissolve.
2. Add the almonds. Set aside to soak for 24 hours.
3. Drain nuts. Set out to dry on paper towels.
4. Heat smoker, keeping heat between 180 and 200 F for the entire process.
5. Line smoker racks with cheesecloth and lay out nuts in one to two layers per rack.
6. Smoke for 3 - 4 hours, stirring every 20 minutes. Two hours in, alternate the rack positions.

After three hours, start checking your nuts for flavor. When the smoke taste permeates the entire nut, they are done.

3 comments:

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  2. made your almonds for a banquet the other day, cider & red wine brined turkey, apricot chutney and smoked almonds. My smoker did not get hot enough so I finished them in the oven. rave reviews, Thanks G.

    ReplyDelete
  3. @Gerry: Could I be more flattered?! I'm shocked that you tried one of mine. I'm normally after your skills, not vice versa!

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