One of the best things about Friday is being able to collapse into the sofa, guilt-free, with something faintly alcoholic filling your glass in large measure.
Unless we are planning on eating spicy food, we rarely have beer in the house. Wine we tend to save for drinking with food too, so when it comes down to just having a drink, something to enjoy in its own right, the spirits cupboard is where I tend to migrate towards.
I shy away from sweet drinks and prefer something more refreshing with a bit of bite and a distinct sourness so a vodka or gin and tonic with plenty of ice and a hefty squeeze of fresh lemon and lime is damn near perfect.
But, as thousands of bartenders around the world know, with drinks such as this must come nibbles.
Olives and nuts have long been favourites, partly because their saltiness compliments many drinks so well (and leaves you feeling thirsty and thus more likely to order a second and a third and a…) and this same principle is behind by new favourite drink nibble: soy roasted seeds.
When my girlfriend first made these we had to roast a new batch within minutes of the first because I demolished them so quickly. They are easy, quick, finger-lickingly tasty and so more-ish that they could be offered to crack addicts in an effort to help wean them off the demon rocks.
The principle is simple – toss a few handfuls of pumpkin and sunflower seeds in soy sauce and roast them for about ten minutes in a hot oven until they dry out and puff up into little crunchy, salty bubbles of deliciousness. To pep them up a little you could add some dried chilli flakes or any one of numerous other spices – cumin, nutmeg, coriander. The possibilities are manifold.
One final tip is to make more than you think you might actually need. Any left over seeds (yeah, right) will keep just fine in an airtight container.