Contributed by: Jennifer Wickes
A nut is a dry fruit with an edible kernel in a shell. Some "nuts" are really legumes (Brazil nuts) or seeds (peanuts).
Nuts come from a variety of locations. Here are a list of the areas that produce the most:
Almonds, cashews, chestnuts, macadamias, pecans, pistachios, pine nuts and walnuts.
Traditionally, nuts were an autumn food, but now they are available all year long.
How to Select
When you are choosing nuts in their shells, pick nuts that are heavy for their size, and that the shell has no cracks or holes in. When you shake the nut, there should be no rattling noise.
Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place. Nuts have a high fat content and the fat can go rancid. They can also be stored in the refrigerator or freezer too. Store in the refrigerator for 4 months if shelled, 8 months if they still have their shells. Store in the freezer for 6 months if they have been shelled, and up to a year if it still has their shells.
Calcium, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, Vitamin E and fiber.
One ounce of nuts daily can reduce the risk of heart disease by 10%. The healthiest of nuts are high in monounsaturated fats, such as almonds, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pistachios and walnuts.
Additional Information (Web Sites)
Chicken Cashew Salad
by Jennifer A. Wickes copyright 2003
Combine first 10 ingredients in a bowl. Place some sprouts on 4 of the croissant halves. Spread 1/2 cup chicken salad over sprouts; top with remaining croissant halves.
Yields: 4 servings
Pistachio Ice Cream
Heat half and half in saucepan; stir in sugar and salt.
Pour a small amount of hot half and half into egg yolks, stirring constantly.
Return yolk mixture to half and half; cook and stir over medium heat about 5 to 10 minutes or until thickened and creamy. Do not boil. Cool.
Stir in vanilla and heavy cream. Chill.
Pour into freezer container; follow manufacturer's directions for freezing.
Add pistachios and orange peel when almost frozen; freeze until firm.
Allow ice cream to stand at least 2 hours in refrigerator-freezer to mellow flavors.
Yields: 10 servings
To blanch the nutmeats, pour boiling water over shelled pistachios. Let stand for five to ten minutes, drain and cool. The skins can then be removed easily between fingers and thumb, or by rolling between two coarse towels. Place in warm oven at 250 degrees F, for about one hour.
Dad's Southern Pecan Pie
Recipe By: Trent Snyder http://foodgeeks.com
Cut shortening into dry ingredients. Add water gradually until just moistened. Roll and place into 9-inch pastry dish.
Beat eggs thoroughly with sugar, salt, corn syrup, and melted butter. Add pecan halves. Pour into a 9-inch unbaked pastry shell. Bake at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between center and the edge comes out clean. Cool.
Chef's Comments: This pie recipe won the Mt. Gilead, Ohio Kiwanis club pie bake-off in 1988!
Yields: 6 servings
Recipe By: TJ Hill - Appetites Catered
Process almonds in a food processor or blender, until finely ground. Combine almonds, 1-1/3 cups powdered sugar, water, and almond extract in a mixer bowl. Beat on low speed, until mixture forms a ball. Beat in 2-1/4 cups powdered sugar. Add egg whites, stir to a consistency of clay. Divide and mix in food coloring as desired. Dust mint molds with powdered sugar. Pack tightly into molds. Cover and store at room temperature. Serve at room temperature.
Yields: 16 servings
Recipe By: TJ Hill - Appetites Catered
Lightly brush a 9x13x2-inch pan with a small amount of the melted butter.
Combine walnuts and 2-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl, set aside.
Cut filo sheets in half crosswise. Cover with a damp towel. Place 1 sheet onto the bottom of the buttered pan. Brush with butter. Repeat for a total of seven layers. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup walnut mixture. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons warmed honey. Brush 1 filo sheet with melted butter. Place onto nut mixture. Repeat with another filo sheet. Repeat adding nut mixture, warm honey, and two filo sheets until no nut mixture remains. Brush 1 filo sheet with melted butter. Place on top of nut mixture. Repeat for a total of seven sheets. Gently cut into 1-1/2x2-inch portions.
Bake at 350 degrees F, in center of oven, for 30-35 minutes, until golden.
Combine remaining lemon juice, honey and cinnamon in a small saucepan, over a medium flame. Heat to a light boil. Heat and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour over baklava in pan. Allow to cool completely before serving.
Serve at room temperature.
Yields: 12 servings
This article was originally published at Suite 101.
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