November 9, 2008
Easy and so, so good you’d better have carryout bags for your guests. The basic recipe works with just about any kind of nuts. Just make sure you don’t burn them. Use your nose. When they start to smell toasty, they’re roasted.
PS You can get Szechuan peppers from mail-order houses like Penzys. Trust me, they’re worth the extra effort.
8 ounces unsalted pecan halves [or English walnuts]
1 T melted sweet butter
1 tsp sweet curry powder
1/4 tsp Szechuan peppers, crushed in a mortar and pestle
1 tsp honey
2 T finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp sea salt or to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degree F. Spread the nuts in one layer in a 9- by 13-inch baking pan and roast until fragrant and beginning to change color, 8 to 10 minutes. In a small saucier over very low heat, melt the butter. Add the curry powder, peppers, honey, and rosemary. Add the warm nuts and salt and toss until thoroughly coated.
Makes 1 1/2 cups.
December 8, 2007
To hard-cook eggs, warm them to room temperature, cover them with cold water in a saucepan, cover, and bring to a rolling boil. Turn off the heat and let them sit, still covered, for ten minutes. Drain them in a colander and let them cool before peeling.
December 4, 2007
Peeling raw winter squash or pumpkin is not easy, but they are so good roasted you’ll be glad you made the effort. If the peel is tender enough, you can use a vegetable peeler. Otherwise, use a sharp chef’s or butcher knife and a chopping block or cutting board. The knife will be difficult to control. Be sure to cut away from your hands. If the squash is curvy, slice it at the equator of the largest curve, lay the flat side down, and, again, cut away from your hands. If there is any greenish under-peel left, remove it with a vegetable peeler.
November 19, 2007
Before pouring cornbread batter into a preheated, greased iron skillet, test the grease with a small drop of batter. If the batter sizzles loudly, the skillet is hot enough to form a good crust.
October 31, 2007
Here’s an easy way to clean leeks: Trim away the heavy green part of the leaves. Leaving the roots intact, slice the leeks into quarters from roots to tips. Rinse under running water and place upside-down in a sieve in a large bowl of cold water. Soak for 30 minutes or until free of sand and dirt.