These Korean cocktail meatballs, sweet and spicy, are so tiny and cute and delicious you might forget there’s even a game on.
It’s no secret that I’m not really a sports person. I’m the type of nerd who avoids sports bars at all costs. And if I was forced to go to one, I would probably hide in a corner with a book and a set of earplugs.
Luckily for me I married a man that hates watching sports even more than I do. Other than the World Cup and the occasional Wimbledon match, our house is a strictly sports-free zone (unless you consider marathon-watching season 2 of Fargo a sport, which I do).
But there’s one aspect of Superbowl madness I can unequivocally get behind. Game day snacks.
Ah, nuts! These Sweet and Spicy Candied Peanuts strike the perfect balance of sweet and heat. They’re great for snacking or for adding a special touch to soups or salads.
I initially made these candied peanuts because I wanted something extra fancy to top our Thai Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup. While I love croutons, they didn’t seem quite right for this for some reason. So it needed to be crunchy and salty of course, but also with a little sweetness. And it needed to be savory too, something that wouldn’t get lost in the rich flavor of the soup.
I know, I know. So demanding. Nothing could deliver all those things at once, right? Wrong!
Spicy curry candied nuts do and they’re a cinch to make.
So … from these humble beginnings comes the greatest snack food in the history of pretty much everything. I’m not even kidding. Candied peanuts are unbelievably good.
The crunchy coating has that perfect balance of salty and sweet, and an almost toffee-like flavor from the mix of white and brown sugars that caramelize in the oven. The savory heat comes from a mix of spices, including Madras curry powder, cayenne pepper, cumin and cinnamon. These are not sear-your-tongue spicy, more like a warm heat but you should definitely put your own spin on it.
Hallowe’en is a very exciting time over at the Nerds residence. You see, one of us (EMILY) not only grew up on horror movies but also, you know, HAS HER BIRTHDAY on October 31st, and the other one of us (MATT) has a fondness for Edward Gorey and M R James, and has spent whole months of his life subsiding entirely on candy bars. So it’s a propitious melding of minds, really.
Hallowe’en was not much of a thing for me, growing up in Britain in the 1970s – which is perhaps a little odd, considering that every other major holiday of the year is inextricably connected to the consumption of chocolate. The big event of the week was Guy Fawkes’ Night, which is fun and all, and has a bonfire and fireworks and the mocking of failed political plots, but unless the Guy was somehow fashioned out of sugar mice (IT WAS NOT), a distinct lack of sweet confections. So I thoroughly approve of the American version.