What stinking weather today! And after such an arduous week at the office. A big project, all of us locked away in a project room with no windows, only seeing last week’s wonderful sunshine when we went outside at lunchtime. Never mind, I thought. I’ll enjoy the sun at the weekend. Maybe a nice long bike run…
Fast forward to Saturday, and the weather is foul. Sheet rain, heavy showers. Open the window, and you get soaked. Clearly not going out.
My response to this is to open a bottle of white wine and make something Spanish to give the impression that it’s somewhere sunny. Almendras fritas or fried almonds. No, really. Bear with me.
If you normally just serve a bowl of peanuts with drinks on the basis that anything else smacks of too much work, then you’ll be happy to know that this is simplicity itself. If you have almonds in the house, it takes about 1 minute to make.
I rummaged around in the store cupboard, and found the packet of Mallorcan almonds I bought on holiday. Just throw a couple of handfuls of nuts into a saucepan with a little olive oil, fry, sprinkle with salt and that’s it – a little tapa to go with your well-earned glass of wine. OK, maybe it doesn’t transform London in the rain into the sun-drenched main square of Valencia, but they do taste great. The texture is crisp and they have rich, toasted flavour that plays very well with the sprinkling of sea salt
Now just one question…¿Dónde está el sol?
To make almendras fritas:
• skinned whole almonds(*) – allow one handful per person
• olive oil (1 tablespoon per 2 handfuls of nuts)
• sea salt (flaky fleur de sel type)
Put the almonds and oil into a saucepan. Put over a medium heat.
As the oil gets warm, start to shake the pan or stir with a wooden spoon until the nuts are golden. When ready, drain the nuts (use a sieve or transfer to kitchen paper), then put the nuts in a dish and sprinkle with a little sea salt.
(*) If you need to skin the almonds, bring a pan of water to the boil. Throw in the almonds, boil for one minute, then drain and cool. The nuts should slip out of their skins.
Worth making? Super-easy and very, very delicious. Makes a nice change from peanuts too!