BROWNED BUTTER-AND-HAZELNUT MASHED POTATOES
This is a great dish to serve a crowd. But you can easily scale down the measurements to 4 or 2 servings.
3 pounds Yukon Gold or russet potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup milk, warmed to steaming
7-ounce container plain low-fat Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Put potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook until potatoes are tender when pierced, about 15 minutes. Drain; return to pot.
Meanwhile, in a large frying pan cook hazelnuts over medium heat, stirring often, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add butter and cook, stirring frequently, until butter is golden brown and flecked with brown bits and hazelnuts are dark brown, about 5 minutes. Pour hot hazelnut mixture into a bowl and set aside.
Mash hot potatoes. Add milk, yogurt, salt and pepper, mashing to blend. Transfer to a serving bowl and spoon about half the warm hazelnut mixture over the top; serve the rest on the side.
Makes about 8 servings.
Source: Sunset Magazine
MUSHROOM AND HAZELNUT SOUP
This recipe from Chef Joyce Goldstein is a magical combination. You can taste the mushrooms and you can taste the hazelnuts, but the combination of the two is rich and complex, sort of a “wild nutshroom” flavor. I used a mixture of wild and domestic mushrooms. The soup can easily be cut in half. But you might not want to.
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skins rubbed off
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 cups sliced onions
14 cups (loosely packed) white or brown mushrooms, cut in chunks or left whole if small)
5 cups good chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Chopped parsley for garnish
Grind the nuts in a food processor and set aside. Melt the butter in a large deep saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until tender and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sweat them covered about 5 minutes. Add enough chicken stock to barely cover and heat to boiling. Reduce the heat and simmer about 10 minutes.
Puree the mushrooms and onions with the nuts and a little of the hot stock in batches in a blender or food processor. Thin the soup to the desired consistency with hot stock. Season with salt and pepper. This soup can be made ahead of time and gently reheated. Thin it with chicken stock if it thickens too much.
Source: “The Mediterranean Kitchen” by Joyce Goldstein (Morrow, 1998)
HAZELNUT PESTO FISH
The sauce, a topping really, is good on any sort of fish you like.
1 large garlic clove
1 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
½ cup hazelnuts, toasted
¼ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1½ pounds Arctic char fillets with skin
Lime wedges for garnish
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375 degrees. With motor running, drop garlic into a food processor to finely chop. Shut off motor and add cilantro, nuts, cayenne and ¼ teaspoon salt, then blend until coarsely chopped. With motor running, add oil blending until incorporated. Sauce should be coarse.
Arrange fillets, skin sides down, in a lightly oiled baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, then spoon pesto over fish. Bake until fish is opaque and just cooked through, 12 to 17 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets. Garnish with lime wedges to squeeze over servings. Makes 4 servings.
Source: Gourmet Magazine, 2006
HAZELNUT CORNMEAL CAKE
Italian in origin, this butter cake gets both crunch and flavor from toasted hazelnuts and cornmeal. Eat it any time of day. Have a wedge with an espresso for breakfast, or with a glass of wine for dessert. In any is left after a day or 2, slice and toast it and spread with raspberry jam.
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
½ cup finely ground cornmeal
½ cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
4 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla
Juice of ½ lemon, strained
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of an 8-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper cut to fit. Butter the paper and dust the bottom and sides of the pan with flour.
In a food processor or blender, combine the hazelnuts and cornmeal. Process until the nuts are finely ground. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper. Stir in the ground nut mixture. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the butter and granulated sugar. Using a hand-held electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is light in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla.
In another clean bowl, stir together the egg whites and lemon juice. Using clean and grease-free beaters, beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
Using a rubber spatula, gently fold 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture until almost fully incorporated. Fold in one-half of the egg whites. Fold in another 1/3 of the dry ingredients, followed by the remaining whites. Add the remaining dry ingredients, and using a light lifting motion with the spatula and continuously turning the bowl, fold in until the batter is smooth and the dry ingredients are incorporated. The batter should be quite light, almost foamy. Do not over mix, or the whites will deflate and the cake will be dense.
Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Watch the time closely at the end so that the cake does not over bake.
Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Place a wire rack on top of the cake and invert them together. Lift off the pan and peel off the parchment. Let the cake cool completely on the rack. Cover the cake with a clean, slightly damp kitchen towel so that the outside does not dry out as it cools.
Using a fine mesh sieve, lightly dust the top of the cooled cake with confectioners’ sugar. Store wrapped with plastic wrap and aluminum foil at room temperature for up to 2 days, or freeze. Makes 1 8-inch cake.
Source: “Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking” (Oxmoor, 2008)