Nuts

Pecans, walnuts, peanuts, pistachio, pine...

Sephardic Charoset

A few years ago I started making sephardic-style charoset for Passover... and I never stopped. Although it is not the classic apple and walnut dish of my youth, I like the flavors better and I find it easier to manage on a piece of matzah with horseradish.

This year, I discovered this Serious Eats recipe, which I found not only tasty but also easy to make. Win win!

Sephardic Charoset
4
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Ajo Blanco

1 1/2 lbs blanched almonds
6 cups water
2 large or 3 small garlic cloves
1/3 cup sherry vinegar
2 1/2 cups good extra virgin olive oil
3 slices rustic style bread, crusts removed
1 Tbsp chopped chives
pinch of salt

Put blanched almonds into a bowl and cover with water. Let the almonds soak overnight. Don't throw out the soaking water!

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small pot over high heat. Add the garlic and boil for one minute until garlic gets soft. Drain from water.

Ajo Blano
2
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Black Rice Salad with Mango and Peanuts

This Bon Appetit rice salad was easy and delicious. It also could easily be made vegetarian (and is already gluten free) by omitting the fish sauce or replacing it with soy sauce. The fish sauce smell can be a bit off-putting on the first day, so if you're not a fan, just skip it.

Serves 2-4

1 orange
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
1 cup black rice (preferably Lotus Foods Forbidden Rice)

Black Rice with Mango Salad
3
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Gluten-Free Pie Crust

From http://www.seasonalfamily.com/2010/12/gluten-free-almond-flour-pie-crust.html.

2.5 cups almond flower

2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp melted shortening
~ 2 Tbsp ice water to combine

Combine almond flour, sugar, and salt in a medium sized bowl.
Add in your melted shortening until well combined.
Slowly add in one teaspoon of ice water until a firm ball is formed.
Press dough into pie pan / cooking dish. Smooth out with bottom of a cup or measuring cup until flat like a pie crust.

4
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(Lightly) Candied Pecans

Jon's grandmother has a pecan tree in her yard. Two years ago, it was very prolific and we received a huge bag of pecans to bring back to DC. Having now waited two years for Jon to make a pecan pie, I decided to candy some of them. Note these are not the heavily sugared pecans you would have as a dessert, but more like a salad topper.

From http://www.slashfood.com/2006/10/24/candied-pecans-easy-and-addictive/

CandiedPecans
4
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Pecan Pie

Originally from Dear Abby / Houston Post, via Mom

1c white Karo syrup
1c dark brown sugar
1/4t salt
1/4c melted butter
1t vanilla

Mix above together. I found that using an immersion blender got the consistency to a pleasantly creamy texture, but I was also using block-style brown sugar, instead of granulated. Regardless, it should be well mixed together and not lumpy.

Add:
3 eggs (slightly beaten)
1 heaping cup pecan halves
squeeze of lemon juice

Stir together.

Pecan Pie
5
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Drinker's Choice

In Austin, there used to be a fantastic Turkish restaurant called Ararat - one of Austin's best kept restaurant secrets (that everyone knows). They had bellydancing all weekend and live bands during the week, and some of the best middle eastern food you'll find. It was a small place with rug-covered walls that was always jam-packed.

Drinker's Choice
4
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