Spicy Party Nuts
Morita chiles are red, fully mature Chipotles. This gives them a unique, medium – hot smokey flavor which is popular in many Southwestern dishes. These can be added to sauces (including Mole) to add smokey flavor and maintain the red color of the sauces. These peppers are about 2-4 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and have a deep brick reddish brown color. The word Chipotle translated to smoked chile. Consider the Chipotle a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hottest). Scoville heat units 7,000-25,000.
1½ teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile powder (grind dried chile in coffee or spice grinder)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (or to taste- optional)
3 teaspoons kosher salt (or 2 teaspoons table salt- optional)
3 tablespoons olive oil or neutral oil (I generally use pure olive oil — i.e., the cheap stuff)
~4 cups shelled nuts (pecan halves are excellent, as are almonds but almost any nut — or a mix — will work)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Mix all spices in a small bowl. Add oil to a nonstick skillet and heat oil on medium. When hot, add spices, stir well, and turn stovetop down to low. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring fairly frequently (I generally use a heat-proof silicone spatula, but a wooden spoon works just as well). While the spices are simmering, add the nuts to a mixing bowl. Then when the spice-and-oil mix is ready, add it to the bowl with the nuts. Toss to coat the nuts thoroughly with the spice mix.
Spread the nuts out on a baking sheet (preferably rimmed) in a single layer. Roast for 20 minutes, stirring the nuts once or twice during the process. When done, remove from oven. Taste, and add a sprinkle more salt if necessary. Let cool for an hour, then serve or store in an airtight container.