Easy Appie #2: Lesley Stowe’s Big City Bar Nuts

Before treating the world to her signature Raincoast Crisps, Vancouver chef Lesley Stowe served this sinfully simple—and quick—appetizer to her catering clients.

Big City Bar Nuts - Clinton HusseyENTERTAIN SMART | Long before Lesley Stowe began producing Raincoast Crisps, the one-of-a-kind, gourmet cracker-alternative she manufactures locally and distributes throughout North America, she owned and operated the most celebrated catering and specialty food emporium in Vancouver. From her charming (now closed) shop off Burrard Street, she and her team offered prepared dishes and imported food products from around the world and treated Vancouverites to a taste of delicacies previously unavailable in the city.

Known for her inventive mix of ingredients (to which Raincoast Crisps are a testament), Stowe says that Big City Bar Nuts were a favourite on her catering menu. “There are quite a few sweet and salty things out there, but our recipe added something on the savoury side. It’s the hint of rosemary that makes them stand out.”

This nut mixture, made in under 10 minutes, was a show-stopper then—and now!

Lesley Stowe’s Recipe For Big City Bar Nuts

115 g (1/4 lb) each peanuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans and almonds
30 ml (2 tbsp) fresh rosemary, rough minced
2 ml (1/2 tsp) cayenne pepper
10 ml (2 tsp) golden brown sugar
10 ml (2 tsp) sea salt
15 ml (1 tbsp) butter, melted

Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Toss nuts in a large bowl to combine, then spread on a cookie sheet. Toast in the oven until a light golden colour, about 10 minutes. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Thoroughly toss the warm nuts with the spiced butter and serve warm. Makes about 750 grams (1 3/4 lb). —C. Rule

Photo: Clinton Hussey

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