The Ideal Snack for the Griller
We Middle-land Griller, divided between the naked and raw Q, the authentic American and the gourmet grilling, aimed at exalting the many unexpected possibilities of expression offered by a grid and a handful of braces, we often use the appetizers as a promotional poster of what we love. The so-called Finger Grills are the ideal persuasion tool for those who do not know our world: they are elegant, incredibly tasty and above all they are entirely made on grill, the last thing our virgin host would expect from us.
It is also true that sometimes, when we are between our house walls, maybe in the company of our four friends of a life, it is good to find the authentic soul from which the barbecue world is born, the rustic simplicity of a straw paper tablecloth with succulent Beef Ribs on, an opportunity to replace the flutes with the pints and do not take so care of the etiquette. When it happens, I like to enjoy the waiting time, chatting calmly among the hickory puffs and waiting for the smoker to do his job, like old rednecks on rocking chairs in Tennessee. The inevitable excess of beer, which maliciously helps to set the tongues free, must be formally justified by an apparently harmless snack, which passively but cleverly accepts its role as a gregarious, possibly in a barbecue key. What to use in such a context? My answer is the Smoked Almonds.
Abroad are pretty well known, as much to be sold packaged and with many flavor. Smoked Almonds are, however, so easy and fast to be made that they are reachable by anyone here too. You do not need anything special: a kettle, a handful of apple chips, some slightly hoarse almonds, some water and salt and a cup of rub of your liking. On Smoked Almonds I like to use a very sweet rub, with large crystals of sugar that caramelize in a evident way, such as the Axtschlag Pulled Pork Rub.
- In the previous evening put the almonds in a bowl with a quite heavy 25% brine. Allow them to rest all night without any need to put them in the fridge. In the morning then dry them for good.
- Go ahead then placing them in a small bowl and pour into with a spoonful of oil. Triggle very well, until they are shiny. Then transfer them from the bowl to the rub you did pour on a cutting board. Swirl well, until they are homogeneously covered with rub.
- You have notthing more to do but placing them on a metal tray or on a cooking net, taking care not to overlay one over the other, putting them in an indirect cooking for 1 hour at 150° C, and adding a handful of Grey Alder wood chips.
The almonds become perfectly crisp, salty as a snack should be and the small sugar crystals have become crystallized caramel drops, whose aromatic sweet contrasts perfectly with the other spices of the rub. The note of the smoke is perceived as very, very delicate but it is enough to make it a real BBQ preparation, different from any other appetizer and perfectly contextualized. It’s the classic drug that you can not stop eating and whose only limit is represented by the quantity on the table.
People like them so much that in the waiting time that serves as a prelude to dinner, beer becomes almost the accompaniment to Smoked Almonds and not the opposite. So much to suggest along the times to contradict American tradition and to try thousands of varieties with hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, Brazilian and whatever else. After all, as we play Rednecks, we still are gourmet grillers. And about you, what kind of dried fruit would you see as good substitute of Almonds?