Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rosemary Trail Mix

I've been admittedly not making anything interesting lately (lots of eggs, oatmeal, free food, and restaurants plus leftovers).  But one thing I did make was rosemary "Hungry Girl" trail mix.  A package of it came in our CSA welcome package when we did that (we've stopped but I'm thinking about doing it next year).  It was delicious and I tried to recreate it.  It wasn't perfect, but still tasty.  And trail mix is definitely one of those things you should make to taste anyway.  So much so, it seems like I shouldn't be giving you a recipe for something as simple/personal as trail mix.  But this has rosemary!  Something I love to put in EVERYTHING (as I explained to my mom recently, I'm actually more comfortable pairing it with fruit than... well, whatever other people put it with), but would never thought to use in trail mix.  I guess I did recently make some tasty rosemary citrus pancakes with rosemary pineapple sauce.  But that's another post.  Anyways, notes about the recipe: I put the cranberries in with the nuts and I have since learned that they should be added later, otherwise they get crunchy.  They are still tasty, but the chewy texture of dried cranberries improves the trail mix.  Also make sure you use a nice sea salt (Kosher would probably also work), not table salt.  I've never liked salt, so it's not something I'm super familiar with (my family hates how I boil pasta in unsalted water), but I do know this: if you are trying to actually feature a salty flavor (like with nuts or salted caramel ice cream) you should use good salt.  You can use less and it's just... better somehow.

Rosemary Trail Mix Ingredients
1 Tbsp butter +
1/2 tsp dried rosemary +
1 Tbsp unpacked brown sugar
1/2 c mixed nuts (as the original trail mix did, I used almonds, pecans and walnuts)
Sea salt to taste
2 Tbsp dried cranberries

Melt the butter with the rosemary.  Cook until fragrent (like rosemary), if the butter sticks and starts to brown, add more.  Add the sugar, once melted, add the nuts and salt and cook until they reach your desired toastedness/infused flavor.  I would recommend adding almonds first, if you are using almonds since they absorb the flavor more slowly and also hold up to longer cooking times better than softer nuts like walnuts and pecans.  Stir occasionally to prevent burning and make sure everything is evenly coated.  I think I cooked the nuts about 15-20 minutes.   Add cranberries and check the taste by trying a nut (again, i would recommend trying an almond because they absorb flavor most slowly so if they are done, your other nuts probably are too).  You may want to add more salt (this is part of the reason for tasting).  Cook a little longer, stirring to ensure your cranberries are coated and flavored.

Enjoy.  But don't eat it all at once!