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Sausage And Sage Stuffing With Dried Cranberries And Toasted Hazelnuts
(6-5-2020)

Ingredients
  • 2¼ to 2½ cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ pound sweet Italian sausage, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3½ tablespoons sage, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chives, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons thyme, minced
  • 2 sourdough baguettes (completely stale), cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Preheat oven to 375°F.

Pour broth into a small saucepan and simmer over low heat. Cover and set aside.

Pour oil in a sauté pan and place over medium high heat.

Add sausage to pan and brown for 4 to 5 minutes.

Remove sausage from pan and place in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Drain fat from pan. Add 2 tablespoons butter to the pan and sauté onions and carrots for 3 minutes.

Add sage, chives and thyme and sauté for another 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour onion mixture over browned sausage and gently toss together.

Add baguette cubes, dried cranberries and hazelnuts to the bowl and fold together.

Pour hot broth over bread mixture and stir together until fully incorporated and well combined.

Generously grease a baking dish with 2 tablespoons of butter and fill with the stuffing mixture.

Cover with foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and uncover. Dot the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and place back in the oven for 15 minutes, uncovered.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Toasted Hazelnut Polenta
(2-10-2020)

Ingredients
  • 2 cups raw organic hazelnuts
  • 9 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 cups white polenta
  • 1 stick unsalted butter

Directions
Heat oven to 325° F. Toast the hazelnuts for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Remove skins by placing them in a metal strainer and then stirring them vigorously with a metal spoon. Once the nuts are completely cool, pulse them into a medium-fine meal in a food processor, taking care not to turn them into hazelnut butter.

Bring water to a rapid boil in a large saucepan, add salt. Slowly add in dry polenta whisking the entire time. Continue stirring until the polenta thickens up, and turn the heat to low. After simmering for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, the polenta should become rather thick. Beat in the ground hazelnuts until fully incorporated.

Continue to simmer on very low heat, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.

Cut butter into chunks, and beat into polenta until fully incorporated. Taste for seasoning and add salt as needed.

Orzo Salad with Scallions, Hazelnuts, and Golden Raisins
(1-6-2020)

Ingredients
  • ½ cup hazelnuts
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ cup sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil, plus more for coating the orzo
  • 6 scallions
  • Small handful of chives
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt

Directions
Heat the oven to 350° F. Scatter the hazelnuts across a baking sheet, then put in the oven for 10 minutes. Take them out and allow them to cool, then remove the skins. Leave the nuts whole, or roughly chop them -- however you prefer. Set aside.

Bring the red wine vinegar and ½ cup of water to a healthy simmer. Add the raisins and turn down the heat to low. Cover, then cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the raisins to sit in the vinegar solution for an additional 20 minutes. Drain the raisins and set them aside.

Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil, then add enough kosher salt to make the water taste like the sea. Add the orzo to the pot and cook until al dente (for me, this was consistently 2 minutes less than the bag recommended). Drain the orzo, transfer to a bowl, and stir in a bit of olive oil -- just enough so that the pasta doesn't stick. Allow the orzo to cool for 20 to 30 minutes.

Make the dressing: Add the lime juice, rice wine vinegar, and champagne vinegar to a small bowl. Whisk in a little pinch of kosher salt. Add the sesame oil and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Whisk the dressing to emulsify the oil, then set aside.

Clean and thinly slice the whites and light greens of the scallions. Mince the chives.

Stir the red pepper flakes into the orzo. Add the hazelnuts, raisins, scallions, and chives. Fold in the dressing. Stir in the sea salt. Using a fork, break up the goat cheese, then crumble it into the bowl and lightly fold to combine. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Author's

Note: If you are eating the salad fresh, I think ½ cup of dressing is sufficient. I usually save the remaining ¼ cup for just before serving, especially if I make the salad ahead of time. But add the dressing bit by bit, then stop when it tastes right to you.

Hazelnut Pesto
(12-15-19)

Yields: 1½ cups

Ingredients
  • 5 cups loosely packed basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ½ cup toasted organic hazelnuts
  • ½ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions
Add the basil, garlic, hazelnuts, Parmesan cheese, and ¼ cup of the olive oil to a blender or food processor. Pulse in 10 to 15 second intervals to chop all ingredients. With the machine on low, slowly pour in the remaining olive oil. Scrape the sides of the container as needed.

Blend for about 20 seconds until all ingredients are finely chopped and a thick pesto results. Stir in the salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl or use in your favorite recipes.

Crispy Fish with Brown Butter Sauce and Kohlrabi Salad
(8-5-19)

Yields: 4 Servings

Perfect crisped skin and a nutty pan sauce make fish feel downright luxurious. Toasting your own nuts yields far more flavorful and fresh results than buying preroasted ones at the store. But recently we've been taking things a step further by toasting a handful of nuts in a skillet with a few tablespoons of olive oil or butter over medium heat until they're super golden and fragrant. Save any of the leftover oil to boost vinaigrettes.

Ingredients
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more
  • 2 small kohlrabi, peeled, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 large green apple, cut into quarters lengthwise, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • Four 5-6-oz. skin-on Chilean sea bass or salmon fillets
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped blanched hazelnuts
  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • Lemon wedges (for serving)

Directions
Whisk honey, ¼ cup lemon juice, 2 Tbsp. oil, and 1 tsp. salt in a large bowl. Add kohlrabi, apple, and onion and toss to coat. Let sit while you cook the fish.

Swirl remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet to coat. Season fish generously on both sides with salt and pepper and place, skin side down, in cold skillet. Set over medium heat and cook until fat starts to cook out of fish, about 4 minutes. Gently press on fillets with a spatula so skin makes good contact with pan, then keep pressing, cycling from one fillet to the next every few seconds, until skin starts to crisp. Continue to cook without pressing until skin is super crisp and flesh is mostly opaque, 8-10 minutes total (adjust heat as needed, but don't rush it). Turn over; cook until completely opaque, about 1 minute. Place skin side up on plates.

Wipe out skillet and return to medium heat. Cook hazelnuts and butter, swirling pan often, until butter foams, then browns, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 2 tsp. lemon juice; season brown butter sauce with salt and pepper.

Toss kohlrabi salad and serve alongside fish fillets, leaving excess dressing behind. Spoon brown butter sauce over fish and salad and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.

Cider Poached Salmon with Hazelnuts and Cider Mustard Sauce
(5-6-19)

Yields: 4 Servings
Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
  • One 22-ounce bottle Portland Cider Company Kinda Dry
  • ¼ cup prepared Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 5-inch sprig fresh rosemary
  • Four 4-ounce fillets of salmon with skin
  • ½ cup finely chopped roasted hazelnuts
  • Fine sea salt
  • Ground black pepper

In this recipe, an intensely flavored dry hard cider is used to cook tender salmon fillets. The fish is complemented with a sprinkle of buttery hazelnuts and a drizzle of tangy mustard sauce that has hints of sweet cider flavor.

Directions
Pour 3 ounces of the cider into a small saucepan. Heat over medium and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, until the cider is reduced by half to 1.5 ounces.

Stir together the mustard and honey in a small dish. Add the warm reduced cider and stir well until smooth. Stir in a pinch of black pepper and set aside.

Pour the remaining cider into a shallow 5-quart pot or pan. Add the garlic cloves and rosemary. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium-low to medium heat.

Sprinkle the tops of the salmon fillets with salt and pepper. Slide the salmon pieces into the cider and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, just until cooked through and no longer raw in the center. They will be pale pink in color and flake easily with a fork. Use a slotted spoon or large spatula to carefully transfer the salmon to serving plates.

Sprinkle with hazelnuts. Drizzle with cider mustard sauce or serve the sauce on the side.

Hazelnut Pesto Penne
(2-6-19)

Yields: 6 Servings

Ingredients
For the Pasta
  • 1 pound penne, cooked to al dente
  • ¾ cup Hazelnut Pesto (recipe below)
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped toasted hazelnuts
  • 2 tablespoons shaved Parmesan cheese

For the Pesto
  • 5 cups loosely packed basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ½ cup toasted hazelnuts
  • ½ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions
Make the pesto. Add the basil, garlic, hazelnuts, Parmesan cheese, and ¼ cup of the olive oil to a blender or food processor. Pulse in 10 to 15 second intervals to chop all ingredients. With the machine on low, slowly pour in the remaining olive oil. Scrape the sides of the container as needed.

Blend for about 20 seconds until all ingredients are finely chopped and a thick pesto results. Stir in the salt and pepper.

Place the warm pasta in a large bowl. Add the pesto and toss to coat the pasta well. Transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle with hazelnuts and shaved Parmesan. Serve warm.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts and Apple Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts
(11-15-18)

Yields: 4 to 6 Servings

Ingredients
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Salad
  • ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, stemmed and thinly sliced or shredded
  • ½ cup julienned or thinly sliced Granny Smith apple
  • ½ cup julienned or thinly sliced Fuji apple
  • ½ cup toasted organic hazelnuts, chopped
In this salad, sweet and tart apples are combined with shredded Brussels sprouts. Crunchy hazelnuts add a flavorful finishing touch. An ideal side dish for a fall meal, the seasonal sprouts, fruit, and nuts are tossed in a sweet and tangy maple lemon vinaigrette.

Directions
In a small bowl, whisk together all the vinaigrette ingredients until combined into smooth dressing and set said.

Heat the ½ tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the shredded Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring constantly for 60 to 90 seconds; Just until the greens glisten in the oil and barely begin to wilt. Transfer the Brussels sprouts to a bowl, allow to cool.

Add the apple to the bowl. Pour in the dressing and toss to coat. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with the hazelnuts. Serve the salad at room temperature.

Pasta with Baby Artichokes, Mascarpone, and Hazelnuts
(7-30-18)

Yields: 4 Servings

Ingredients
  • 12 ounces fresh lasagna sheets (about 8x6 inches)
  • All-purpose flour (for surface)
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 pound baby artichokes (about 8)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • ¾ cup blanched hazelnuts
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped marjoram or oregano
  • 1½ teaspoons Aleppo-style pepper
  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Directions
Preheat oven to 350º. Place a pasta sheet on a lightly floured work surface. Using a paring knife or a pastry wheel, cut the sheet into quarters (each piece should be about 4x3"), then cut each piece on a diagonal from corner to corner to create 4 triangles. Transfer triangles to a flour-dusted baking sheet and cover with a kitchen towel. Repeat process with remaining lasagna sheets.

Squeeze juice from lemon halves into a large bowl of cold water. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, pull off all the tough dark outer leaves until mostly yellow leaves remain. Using a serrated knife, cut 1" off top of artichoke. Trim stem, leaving at least ½" intact. Using a paring knife or a vegetable peeler, remove dark green outer layer from stem. Cut artichoke in half lengthwise and then into 1/3"-thick wedges. Drop artichoke pieces in lemon water. The acid in the water will keep them from turning brown while you trim the remaining artichokes.

Once all the artichokes have been trimmed, drain and place in a wide medium saucepan. Add garlic, bay leaves, and ¼ cup oil. Pour in cold water to submerge artichokes; season generously with salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until a paring knife slides through artichokes with little to no resistance, 8-10 minutes. Let cool, then drain and set artichokes aside.

While the artichokes are simmering away, toast hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until golden brown, 10-12 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop. Toss in a medium bowl with marjoram, Aleppo-style pepper, and 3 Tbsp. oil; season with a generous pinch of salt. Set aside.

Mix mascarpone, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a separate medium bowl; season with salt. Set aside.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta cooking liquid.

Return pasta and ¼ cup pasta cooking liquid to pot and set over low heat. Add reserved mascarpone mixture and gently toss, adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed if sauce is too thick, until pasta is al dente and sauce coats pasta. Add reserved artichokes and half of reserved hazelnut mixture and gently stir to distribute (you want to avoid breaking up artichokes very much).

Divide pasta among bowls. Top with remaining hazelnut mixture.

Do Ahead: Hazelnuts can be toasted 3 days ahead; store airtight at room temperature. Artichokes can be trimmed and cooked 1 day ahead; let cool in cooking liquid. Cover and chill. Drain just before adding to pasta.

Roast Chicken with Saffron, Hazelnuts & Honey
(7-30-18)

Yields: 4 Servings

Ingredients
  • 4 chicken breasts skinless & boneless (or your favorite chicken pieces or 1-large organic or free-range chicken, divided into quarters)
  • 2 onions coarsely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1- teaspoon ground ginger do not substitute fresh ginger
  • 1- teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • A generous pinch of saffron threads
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons cold water
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1- cup unskinned hazelnuts toasted and skinned
  • 3 ½ tablespoons honey
  • 1- tablespoon rose water optional
Directions
Place chicken pieces, onions, olive oil, ginger, cinnamon, saffron, lemon juice, water, salt and pepper in a large Ziploc bag. Refrigerate at least one hour or overnight.

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 375ºF/190ºC.

Spread hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Once cooled to touch, rub the nuts together between your hands to remove skins. (The nuts can be used with skins on, if desired.) Chop coarsely and set aside.

Transfer chicken along with the marinade to a baking sheet large enough not to crowd the chicken. If skin is still on the chicken, place it skin side up.

Roast chicken for 35 minutes.

While chicken is roasting, combine honey, rose water (if using) and nuts.

Remove chicken from oven and spread ¼ cup of nut mixture onto each breast.

Return chicken to the oven for 5-10 more minutes or until chicken is cooked through and nuts are golden brown. (If needed, turn oven to 425ºF and cook long enough just to get more color on the nuts and chicken. Watch this step very closely so the hazelnuts don't burn and chicken doesn't overcook.)

Transfer chicken to a serving dish and spoon remaining juices, nuts and onions over each breast.

Enjoy!

Romesco Sauce
(5-9-18)

Yields: about 3 cups

Ingredients
  • About 2 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound of Roma tomatoes (4 medium-sized)
  • 1 red sweet bell pepper
  • 2 (1-inch thick) slices of an Italian-style bread (measuring approximately 6 x 3-inches in diameter), such as ciabatta or Pugliese
  • 1 cup roasted and skinned hazelnuts
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish paprika
  • 2½ teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup red wine or sherry vinegar
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Hot water, if needed
Directions
This classic Spanish sauce is a melange of roasted tomatoes and peppers, olive oil, roasted hazelnuts and fried bread. It compliments many foods, including grilled shellfish and halibut, lamb, pasta, and even a simple offering of toasted bread (as a dipping sauce). It keeps for at least two weeks in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Pool one tablespoon of olive oil on a baking sheet and place it in the oven while it is preheating. Halve the tomatoes lengthwise; cut out the core from each half. When the oven is hot, remove the baking sheet from the oven and place the tomato halves in the oil, cut-side up. Coat the surface of each tomato half with a bit more oil, which will help with browning. Roast for about 15 minutes, then turn the tomatoes over, cut-side down and continue roasting until the tomato skins begin to darken, crack, and pull away from the flesh. Remove from the oven and set aside until they're cool enough to handle.

Pierce the pepper in several places with a sharp knife to avoid bursting, then place it on the baking sheet. Place the pepper under a broiler and broil, turning several times, until it has blackened over most of its surface. Alternatively, you could blacken the pepper over a gas flame on your stove top, or in a grill.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet (you can use a non-stick skillet, but it won't impart quite as much toasty flavor to the bread). Fry the bread until golden brown and crisp on both sides. Remove from skillet and let cool.

Pluck the skins from the cooled tomatoes, reserving the juices. Place the flesh and juice in the food processor. Peel, core and seed the pepper, reserving the juice. Place the flesh and juice in the food processor. Add the bread, roasted hazelnuts, garlic, red pepper flakes, paprika, ground chipotle chile pepper, salt, and black pepper. Process until smooth (it will have a somewhat grainy appearance because of the nuts). With the machine running, add the vinegar.

Let the motor run for a moment, then stop it and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn the motor back on and add the ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil in a slow, steady, very thin stream. The sauce will thicken slightly and hold together with a rich, rust orange/red color. If the sauce seems too thick (it should have a soft, pesto-like consistency), then with the machine running, drizzle in some hot water. Taste and make sure the sauce has plenty of piquancy and enough salt.

If desired, with the machine running, add additional vinegar and salt. Romesco sauce can be prepared and refrigerated for at least a week.

Bring to room temperature before using.

Grecian Pasta
(2-6-18)

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cloves, minced
  • ½ thinly sliced red pepper
  • ½ thinly sliced yellow pepper
  • ½ thinly sliced green pepper
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced in ½ inch pieces (2 cups)
  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese (Chevre)
  • Cooked Penne pasta
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts
  • ½ cup cooked artichoke hearts, quartered
  • ½ cup Kalamata or Sicilian olives
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Directions
In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon olive oil. Over medium heat, sauté garlic until softened, about two minutes. Add peppers and sauté for another two minutes. Add tomatoes and stir just until they release their juices, about two minutes. Stir in goat cheese to make a creamy sauce. Toss with cooked pasta, hazelnuts, artichokes, olives, and basil. Drizzle with lemon juice and remaining olive oil. Season with freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Tip
To peel tomatoes, spear the stem end with a fork. Holding the fork, immerse tomato in boiling water for about one minute. Cool by holding the tomato in a stream of cold water. The peel should slip off easily.

Tip
To seed tomatoes, cut in half horizontally. Place one half in the palm of your hand like you were holding a baseball for an overhand throw. Firmly squeeze at the same time, making a downward throwing motion over the sink or waste basket. Most of the seeds will come out. Just don't let loose!

Mushrooms with Pasta and Hazelnut Oil
(12-8-17)

Yield: 2 Servings

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1 pound mushrooms, ends trimmed and sliced into ¼ inch thick slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces dry linguine fini
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons hazelnut oil
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • ½ cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions
Cook the linguine; while it is cooking, make the mushroom topping.

Heat butter in a large skillet. Add the mushrooms and saute for a moment, Add a cover and a tad of water and simmer for 5 minutes or until tender. Remove the cover and evaporate the liquid. Add the garlic and saute just until aromatic. Remove mushrooms from the heat and season well to taste with salt and pepper.

When the pasta is done, return it to the cooking pot and toss with mushrooms, hazelnut oil and parsley; keep on tossing until well combined and transfer to 2 heated pasta bowls. Garnish with hazelnuts and dinner is done. Accompany with steamed vegetable salad.

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Lynden, WA
(360) 988-9240


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