Is there a pattern here?
The last three gatherings of food bloggers I've been invited to, I concocted some sort of strange pickles.
Last summer, for the Bay Area Food Bloggers' Picnic, I pickled peculiar produce.
Last month, at the Forkies' Daring Dinner, my contribution was brined eggs.
Tonight, I'll be meeting with old friends and new, sampling roasted meat served up by a blogger who was raised a vegetarian (shh; it's a wicked experiment)... and I'm bringing nutty nuts.
The nuts are local almonds and walnuts, made even nuttier by the fact that I brined them overnight in a variety of flavorings.
I'm refraining from nibbling on them too much, because I didn't prepare very many. So I can't report for certain, but I think it has been a semi-success. Brining nuts definitely moisturizes them, so they need a lot of careful roasting the next day to achieve a browny, crunchy effect. Some of the walnuts swelled up so much in the juice, they wouldn't spill out of the jar they had been soaking in.
But, the flavors! Gah. Primo. Such a difference from slathering spices and salt on the outside of nuts, and then tossing them in a skillet for a few minutes.
These nuts drank in their baths, through and through. Even after roasting, you can see that they are a bit translucent, a little tender, nothing like your usual canned salties.
The salt was there, though: My four brines were 1) homemade dill pickle juice; 2) jarred Trader Joe's kalamata olive juice; 3) mustard/Tabasco/champagne; and 4) fish sauce/black pepper/champagne/soy sauce. Yeah, crazy.
The house smells wonderful from the wacky, roasty aromas.
Will I be invited to any more blogger gatherings? Look, I promise I'm running out of pickle ideas.
Update: OK, slower, longer roasting at a lower temperature is the technique. First time around, I gave the nuts an hour at 375º, but they were still too moist. My oven only goes as low as 170º, and I just now gave the nuts another hour or two, and now they're dark, toasty and deeply flavored. Recommended.