Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over moderate heat for about 2 minutes or until an almond, dropped into the oil sizzles gently. Add half of the almonds to the oil and saute, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes over moderately low heat until the color of light caramel. Using a slotted spoon or a spider, transfer the almonds into a colander set over a heatproof bowl; shake to drain off as much oil as possible, then drain on paper toweling. Reheat the oil in the skillet and fry and drain the remaining almonds the same way.
Sprinkle with salt and cayenne and toss well; store in an airtight canister.
The sauteeing oil can be strained and used to dress vegetables or salads.
Recipe courtesy of Jean Anderson