It’s a Girl’s Night In!

Last Friday night, I taught “Girl’s Night In!”, the first in a series of cooking classes at the Foothills Recreation and Aquatics Center in Glendale, AZ.

We focused on creating a menu that was fun, tasty, easy to make and one that would let the guests AND hostess enjoy themselves.

On the menu were Spicy Thai Shrimp on Cucumber Rounds, Citrus BBQ Meatballs, Hummus en Fuego, Wild Mushroom Crostini and, just in time for the holidays, Roasted Rosemary Cashews. And, while most of the students thought the menu was way to big for just one class, we finished in plenty of time to actually sit down and enjoy what we created.

Roasted Rosemary Cashews

1 pound (+/-) cashews, roasted, salted
2T fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
dash of cayenne, or to taste
2T brown sugar, dark or light
2t salt or to taste*
2T butter, melted

Preheat your oven to 375.

Place the cashews on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until hot throughout, stirring at the 5 and 10 minute marks. Be careful not to burn…you’re out to get the nuts hot, not brown them.

Meanwhile, combine everything else in a large bowl. When the nuts are hot, add them to the bowl and stir for several minutes until everything is well coated. This might take a minute or two longer than you imagined…the heat of the nuts “melts” the sugar and makes the ingredients adhere. Serve.

You can make these the night before; store them in a large zip lock bag.

* Salt is needed for this recipe, but how much is up to you. Roasted, salted cashews are suggested but might not be available where you shop. Also, you might be using unsalted butter (you are, aren’t you?)…that needs to be considered. As always, taste as you go.

This dish is designed to be put on the bar. But do yourself a favor…make at least a double batch. There will not be leftovers. Seriously.

For information about upcoming classes, go to: www.glendaleaz.com/ParksandRecreation.

Recipe, courtesy Chef Cal.

Kent McDonald is a Certified Personal Chef, living and working in Phoenix, AZ. (c) All Right Reserved, 2012.

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