Spiced-nutsThese nuts go exceptionally well with the cold, fruity drinks of the Caribbean. The spice blend can be used on fish and meat on the grill. Make a large batch and enjoy a taste of the Caribbean for the rest of the winter!

{ MAKES 4 CUPS }

1 cup pepitas

1 cup walnuts

1 cup almonds

1 cup pecans

1 egg white

1 clove garlic, minced

1½ tablespoons Spice Blend (see recipe below)

½  tablespoon sugar

¼  teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spread the nuts in a single layer on baking sheets and bake, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Be careful not to over toast the nuts, or else they will turn bitter.

While the nuts are toasting, whisk together the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Pour the hot nuts into the bowl and stir well to coat.

Decrease the oven temperature to 375°F. Return the nuts to the baking sheets and bake for 5 to 8 minutes, until golden, stirring often and scraping the bottom of the sheet pan.

Allow the nuts to cool and then store in airtight containers.

Spice Blend

5 coriander seeds

2 star anise pods

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 stick cinnamon, broken into pieces

1 teaspoon white peppercorns

1 teaspoon red peppercorns

3 bay leaves

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

6 whole cloves

In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, combine all ingredients and toast, stirring constantly, until the aromas are released. Working in batches if necessary, place the spices in a spice grinder and grind into a fine powder. Store in an airtight container.