You may remember a few weeks ago when I posted about a butternut squash and sage linguine with a cashew cream sauce. For the cashew cream I had gone to Meijer in search of raw cashews and the smallest bag I found was about half a pound. So after using just half a cup I was left with most of a bag of raw cashews, not knowing what to do with them.
I kept thinking I would come up with some super creative use for them and incorporate them into a dish, but it never happened. So one Saturday I decided I would just roast them. This was the obvious and simple solution but led to an unexpectedly complicated problem; what was I going to put on them?
I spent the better part of an hour staring at the pantry and spice rack and checking online for ideas. Eventually I settled on the idea of a sweet and spicy combination, involving sugar and Sriracha. The recipe I found on Inquiring Chef makes use of kaffir lime leaves, an ingredient featured often in Thai cooking. I was planning on just ignoring those when I remember that we had a small bottle of kaffir lime oil (very highly concentrated leaf extract) in our refrigerator.
My wife spent a semester our senior year in Thailand and has used it a few times to get a more authentic taste out of some dishes she makes. If you’re considering getting some this tiny bottle (looks like an eye dropper) goes a long way. You might only use 2-3 drops for an entire recipe.
I was really happy with how these came out. They were chewy and almost melted in your mouth out of the oven and after cooling for about 15 minutes the hardened sugar gave them an amazing crunch. Enjoy!
Sriracha, Sesame, and Kaffir Lime Roasted Cashews
- 1/4 C packed brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp Sriracha
- 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
- 3 drops kaffir lime oil (optional)
- 1 1/2 C raw cashews
- 1 T sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a small saucepan combine sugar, Sriracha, and ginger. Heat over medium high, stirring frequently until the sugar melts. This should take about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and add the kaffir lime oil.
Pour the cashews into a large bowl and drizzle the sugar mixture over them. Stir well to coat. Add the sesame seeds and stir again.
Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, spreading out the cashews so they are in a single layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until crisp and browned.
Recipe adapted from Inquiring Chef.