Hey all! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted and boy has it been a wackadoodle few weeks!
I got into a car accident (I’m okay – car not as okay), we had two feet of snow in Chicago (see beer picture below for proof), we had a wee gas leak in our super old fireplace and we went to Mexico for a lovely week-long vacation. So a few hiccups, but overall we’ve been cooking a lot, eating a lot and absolutely loved soaking up as much sunshine as we could in beautiful Mexico – our trip will be up next on the blog. 😀
I’m excited to share this recipe we made during the crazy snow as it was inspired by these incredible olive + rosemary cashews that we first had at a friends party (thanks Danielle + Dave)! We were eating them by the handful, they were so good. We had some leftover from a dinner party and I could not let them go to waste, so into the stir fry they went, and rock n’ roll, it was delish!
Ingredients for Olive-Rosemary Spiced Cashews
4 large sprigs fresh rosemary
1/3 cup pitted oil cured olives
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
generous pinch kosher salt
4 cups raw cashews (about 1 pound)
Ingredients For Stir Fry
1.5 lb chicken breast tenders
2 tbs olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup chopped green pepper
8 oz sliced water chestnuts
1 cup frozen peas, cooked according to package
3 cups water
2 cups jasmine rice
2 tsp salt
1 cup cashews olive + rosemary spiced cashews
3 tbs soy sauce
chopped green onion for topping
First preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with oil or cooking spray.
Then you need to make the rosemary powder. Line a heatproof plate with a paper towel and arrange the rosemary sprigs on top, and place another sheet of paper towel on top. Microwave on high until the rosemary is completely dry, about 1 to 2 minutes. Keep an eye on it as it can burn if it continues to cook after drying. Remove from the microwave and remove the rosemary needles from the sprigs, discarding the woody stalks. Pulverize the needs in a mortar and pestle until it turns into a fine powder. Then sift the dried rosemary through a fine mesh strainer into a small bowl, discarding any large pieces.
Next, arrange the olives on a heatproof plate and microwave at half power until dried – about 5 minutes. Again, keep an eye on these as they can also burn quickly if cooked too long. Transfer the dried olives to the mortar and pestle and pulverize into an oily paste.
Then add the water, sugar, cayenne and salt to a saucepan over medium heat and
In a medium saucepan, combine water, sugar, cayenne, and salt. Heat over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved. Stir in the cashews and continue to cook, stirring, until the cashews are coated in the glaze and almost all the water has cooked off.
Spread the cashews in a single and even layer on the baking sheet and bake until the nuts are lightly toasted, about 20 minutes.
Last, let the nuts cool and stir to prevent them from sticking. Once they are cooled down, break up any clumps, and add the olive paste and stir until the nuts are coated. Add 4 tsp of the rosemary powder and stir to coat.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the chicken tenders in a baking dish and add salt + pepper to both sides. Pop the chicken in the oven and cook until done which will depend on the thickness of the chicken. Mine took 18 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking get the veggies and rice cooking. For the veggies, add 2 tbs of olive oil to a large frying pan over medium heat and add the onions, carrots and garlic, cooking until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the green pepper, water chestnuts and cooked peas. Cook for another 10 minutes over medium heat until all veggies are heated through.
For the rice, add 3 cups of water, 2 cups of rice and 2 tsp of salt to a large pot. Bring to a boil, cover and turn down to a simmer, cooking for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, keep the lid on, and let steam for another 10 minutes. Remove lid, fluff with a fork and set aside.
Last, just assemble all the pieces. Chop the chicken into bite-size pieces, and add to the rice pot. Add the veggies, the cashews and soy sauce to taste. Toss this altogether and serve topped with chopped green onion. I think next time I might also add some pineapple chunks too. YUM.