Thursday, January 31, 2008

Chocolate Macadamia Tarts

7 oz milk chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup thickened cream
2 tablespoons Kahlua liqueur
12 frozen shortcrust tartlet cases
3.5 oz roasted macadamia nuts, chopped
cocoa powder, to serve

Place chocolate, cream and liqueur into a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Heat, stirring with a metal spoon, for 5 minutes or until smooth. Remove from heat. Refrigerate for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes, or until thick.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Place frozen tartlet cases (in their foil) onto a baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes or until light golden and cooked through.
Stir nuts into chocolate mixture. Refrigerate until firm. Spoon into pastry cases. Dust with cocoa powder.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Indian-Spiced Nut Mix

1 cup Brazil nuts
1 cup almond kernels
1 cup walnut halves
1 cup cashew nuts
1 x 3.5 oz Chang's fried noodles
1 egg white
2 tsp peanut oil
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp ground fennel
1 tsp ground turmeric
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Sunbeam flame raisins
Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine the Brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews, noodles, egg white, oil, cumin, coriander, garam masala, paprika, fennel and turmeric in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a large roasting pan.
Bake in oven, stirring every 5 minutes, for 15 minutes or until nuts are toasted and mixture is aromatic. Add raisins and gently toss to combine. Set aside for 30 minutes to cool to room temperature.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Chocolate Walnut Pie with Chocolate Fudge Sauce

9 oz plain flour
1 oz icing sugar, plus extra to dust
6 oz cold butter
3 large eggs
5 oz dark chocolate, roughly chopped
5 ozwalnuts, lightly toasted
6 oz caster sugar
1 egg yolk
Chocolate fudge sauce and cream, to serve
Chocolate fudge sauce
3 1/2 cups sugar
6 oz Dutch cocoa powder
2.5 oz unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 350 F. Sift the flour and icing sugar into a medium bowl, add the butter and a pinch of salt. Use your fingers to rub together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs (or use a food processor). Add 1 whole egg and mix together until you have a smooth dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Whizz the chocolate and walnuts in a food processor until they are a medium fineness, place in a bowl and add the caster sugar and remaining whole eggs. Stir to combine.
Bring the pastry to room temperature and reserve one third for the lid. Roll out the remaining pastry on a lightly floured surface to 1/5 inch thick and use to line a 4 x 14 inches lightly greased loose-bottomed tart pan (check for leaks).
Roll out the reserved pastry to 1/5 inch thick. Pour the filling onto the pastry base, moisten the edges with a little water and carefully place the pastry on top. Gently press edges together to seal, and trim any excess pastry. Make 3 small slits in the lid to allow steam to escape.
Beat the egg yolk with a little water and brush over top of tart. Bake for 35 minutes until golden.Set aside in the pan to cool then transfer to a serving plate and dust with icing sugar. Serve sliced with chocolate fudge sauce and cream.
Chocolate fudge sauce: Place sugar in a pan with 3 1/2 cups of water. Cook over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer for 15 minutes then whisk in sifted cocoa powder. Simmer for 10 minutes, add butter and stir until dissolved. Set aside to cool.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Sunflower Family

Compositae is the genus
there are 110 kinds of sunflower, all of them American. Sunflower is a phenomenon of North America.

This crop has become popular worldwide. It started in America about 400 years ago. it probably was first grown on the wild plains in California. Settlers carried the seeds with them and they were commonly scattered along the wagon trails going west.By the 1700's the seed had reached Spain and then France where it was popular.
The crop is a dry land crop and readily grows in the hot, dry Midwestern states. All summer the stalks reach the heavens and it takes a frost to set the plant and get it ready for harvest. Once a frost has occurred, the farmers us combines to gather and cut the head which are taken to drying sheds until the moisture decreases. The seeds are shelled using a centrifugal air machine. The seeds are dropped into an air stream and propelled towards a hard metal plate. They hit the plate with great force and crack open. As the residue drops the husk is lighter and is blown by air to the side and the finished kernels drop into a bin where they are moved on to packaging.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Juglandaceae species Includes the hickories, walnuts, and pecans
The pecan grows in the rich bottomlands in drier climates. It is found in the 18 southern states ranging from Georgia to California. Mexico has a huge crop also. It is the most important native nut crop of North America.

The nut is grown in the southern United States, usually below Missouri in latitude. It took four centuries for this nut to become a cultivated crop. For many decades it was a wild nut and used by American Indians. Pecans are produced in seven countries - Australia, Canada, India, Israel, Mexico, and West Africa. They are consumed around the world, wherever domestic nuts are traded.

The pecan tree was first introduced into Israel around 1930. The crop has grown and is now a commercial crop, grown in orchards along the Meditterranean Ocean seashore. Varieties grown include Wichita, Choctaw, Apache, Cammanchee, Texhan, Hastings, Mohawk, Caddo, Sioux, Shawnee, Clark, Cheyenne, Royal, Ideal, and Bradley.
Pecans in Africa
The Republic of South Africa has a small but florishing pecan nut industry that has existed for many years.
The Hican The HICAN is a cross between the pecan and the Hickories. Hicans have the long shape of the pecan, but in many ways resemble the hickory tree. The largest Hican is the McAlister, which is about 2-1/2" long and more than 1/2" thick. The McAlister, however, has not been productive so there is no commercial crop. The Bixby variety is nearly as la
rge as the McAlister.Many natural crosses between the pecan and other nut crops have been found. In 1541 Hernando DeSoto came upon a tree in what is present day Arkansas. The tree was growing abundant nuts on all branches and was described and a "thin shelled walnut". This could only be the pecan.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Pecan Maple Palmiers

2/3 cup pecan nuts
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 sheets frozen ready-rolled puff pastry, partially-thawed
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Place pecans in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add maple syrup and process until well combined.
Place 1 pastry sheet on a workbench. Spread with half the pecan mixture. Starting from the side closest to you, tightly roll pastry until you reach the centre. Repeat with the other side. Using a sharp knife, cut roll into 1cm-thick slices (see note). Place palmiers on trays, allowing room for spreading. Repeat with remaining pastry and pecan mixture.
Bake palmiers for 10 minutes. Swap trays over in oven. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes or until puffed and golden. Serve warm or cold

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Indian Spiced Nut Mix

1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup coconut & almonds korma curry paste (Patak's brand)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup almond kernels
1 cup salted peanuts
1 cup unsalted cashew nuts
1 cup unsalted macadamia nuts
1 cup raisins
1 cup flaked coconut
Combine the honey, curry paste and garlic in a large bowl. Add the almonds, peanuts, cashews and macadamias and stir until well combined. Place the nut mixture in a large oven bag and twist the opening to close.
Place oven bag on the microwave turntable, adjusting until the nuts are in a single layer and the twisted opening of the bag is underneath (this will prevent the bag opening during cooking).
Cook on High/800watts/100%, shaking the bag every 2 minutes, for 8-12 minutes or until toasted. Remove from microwave. Spread the nuts in a single layer over a baking tray and set aside for 30 minutes to cool.
Coarsely break up the nut mixture and place in a large bowl. Add the raisins and coconut, and stir until well combined.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

More than 1,000 Pounds of Pecans Stolen From Factory

ALBANY — More than $1,000 worth of pecans were stolen from a local distributor during the New Year Holiday period, authorities said.
According to reports filed with the Albany Police Department, the owners of B&L Pecan Company on the 1300 block of West Oakridge Avenue reported that 20, 75- pound bags of pecans were stolen sometime between Sunday and Wednesday.
The bags of pecans, which are valued at 75 cents per pound, were stolen off a pallet in the storage area of the business, reports show.
Manager Vernon Gage told police that he and several workers were at the business Sunday doing inventory and that the bags were there when he left. But when he came in Wednesday, they were missing, according to the report.
A window in a bathroom in the west side of the storage building was busted out and was the probable point of entry, the report shows.
The owner, Manon Luckey, told police that he had recently fired two employees for stealing pecans and then trying to resale them back to the company, according to the report.
The report says that the names of those employees were turned over to the police and fingerprints from the area were lifted.
In total, the bags were estimated to weigh 1,381 pounds.

Posted on the Albany Herald

Friday, January 11, 2008

Different types of Nuts

A nut in cuisine is a much less restrictive (but vital) category than a nut in botany, as the term is applied (or misapplied, depending upon the viewpoint) to many seeds that are not true nuts. Any large, oily kernel found within a shell and used in food may be regarded as a nut. Because nuts generally have a high oil content, they are a highly prized food and energy source. A large number of seeds are edible by humans and used in cooking, eaten raw, sprouted, or roasted as a snack food, or pressed for oil that is used in cookery and cosmetics. Nuts (or seeds generally) are also a significant source of nutrition for wildlife. This is particularly true in temperate climates where animals such as jays and squirrels store acorns and other nuts during the autumn to keep them from starving during the late autumn, all of winter, and early spring.
Nuts, including both tree nuts and peanuts, are among the most common food allergens.

Some fruits and seeds that are nuts in the culinary sense but not in the botanical sense:
Almond is the edible seed of a drupe — the leathery "flesh" is removed at harvest.
Brazil nut is the seed from a capsule.
Candlenut (used for oil) is a seed.
Cashew nut is a seed.
Coconut is a dry, fibrous drupe.
Horse-chestnut is an inedible capsule.
Macadamia nut is a creamy white kernel (Macadamia integrifolia).
Mongongo Peanut is a legume and a seed.
Pine nut is the seed of several species of pine (coniferous trees).
Pistachio nut is the seed of a thin-shelled drupe.
Lychee is a member of the soapberry family, in which its berrylike fruits can be eaten fresh or sundried as nuts.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Macadamia Nut Brittle

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water, to dissolve
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup macadamia nuts, toasted and cooled

In a saucepan boil the sugar and water together to make a caramel. Test the color of the caramel on a white plate. It should be amber-brown. Stir in the butter with a wooden spoon then stir in the nuts. Pour onto a silpat and let cool. Break up into chunks (for brittle, just chop or crush with the bottom of a bottle). Store in an airtight container.

Recipe courtesy Gale Gand

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Nut Knowledge

Dr. George Washington Carver found over 300 uses for the peanut plant in the early 1900’s. He has been called the “peanut wizard” and the “father of the modern peanut industry.”
Nuts offer a nutrient-dense, convenient snack alternative for families on the go.
Nuts are a wholesome snack option.
One ounce of peanuts contains many of the vitamins and minerals necessary for the body’s growth and maintenance.
The beneficial fats in peanuts, which are about 81% unsaturated, can help lower cholesterol levels when they replace saturated fats in the diet.
Nuts may be heart healthy. Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. Claim does not apply to Brazil Nuts, Macadamias, Cashews, and Pine Nuts. See nutrition page for fat content.”
Did you know that peanuts aren’t even nuts? They are legumes and a member of the pea family!
Peanuts are naturally 100% cholesterol-free!
Peanuts have been to space! Astronaut Allen B. Shepard took the tasty treat on his Apollo mission to the moon!
George Washington Carver discovered hundreds of uses for the peanut in products such as soap, cheese and paint, earning him the name “Father of the Peanut Industry.”

Monday, January 7, 2008

Glazed Nuts

1 1/2 cups whole almonds, blanched (or cashews, peanuts, pecan halves, etc.)
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons butter or margarine

In a heavy 8 inch skillet combine nuts, sugar and butter.
Cook over med heat, stirring constantly until sugar is melted and golden in color and nuts are toasted (about 7 minutes)
Spread nuts on a butter cookie sheet or aluminum foil, separating nuts.
Sprinkle lightly with salt.