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Hosting Hack: Spice Up Your Party Snacks

First impressions pack a punch—which is why your party snacks deserve more than just a cursory thought. We enlisted David Myers of L.A. hotspot Hinoki & the Bird to lend his expertise on basics with a piquant twist. “With just a dash of exotic spice, ordinary snacks become extraordinary—and without much effort.” Here, Myers’ top three nibbles. (They’re so tasty you may decide to skip the main course entirely.)

Puffed Wild Rice

¼ cup wild rice
4 cups canola or grapeseed oil
2 tsp fine sea salt

Heat oil in a skillet until smoking hot. Cover a large plate with paper towels. Fry the wild rice until it starts to puff up. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon, place onto the plate, and season immediately with sea salt. Kick up the flavor even more with Sabatino & Co. Roma Truffle & Sicilian Salt or a pinch of Sel Magique.

Garam Masala-Spiced Almonds

3 cups simple syrup
2 cups almonds
2 tbsp garam masala
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of smoked paprika
1 tbsp kosher salt
3 cups grapeseed oil
Coarse sea salt, to taste

Bring the simple syrup to a boil. Meanwhile, mix the garam masala, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, and kosher salt together in a bowl— Core Bamboo’s Crushed Classic is perfect—and set aside. Add nuts to boiling simple syrup and blanch for about five minutes. Remove nuts using a slotted spoon and place into colander or mesh cooling rack to drain. In a heavy pot, bring the oil to 350 degrees, then add nuts and fry for about 10 minutes. Immediately transfer nuts into bowl with spice mix and toss. Add coarse sea salt to taste and serve.

Edamame with Coriander and Cumin

1 bag frozen edamame
1 tsp chili flakes
½ tsp cumin seed (powder or crushed)
½ tsp coriander seed (powder or crushed)
½ tsp garlic powder
A pinch of coarse sea salt

Add edamame to a pot of boiling water, seasoned with salt. Cook according to package directions (about 2 minutes). Drain edamame, then toss in a mixing bowl with the remaining ingredients.

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