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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

By Marlene Parrish



JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Tickets to a play, a couple bottles of good wine, a fuzzy sweater. Those were among the gifts I received during the December holidays. Just what I like and much appreciated, thank you. But my favorite gift of all was nuts. Not crazy nuts — literally, nuts. The package I opened from family living in Eugene was filled with Oregon's finest toasted organic hazelnuts. I remember squealing, "I'm rich, I'm rich!"

For the last couple of months, I've managed to indulge my passion by making soups, entrees, salads and desserts with my favorite nut. They are so delicious, the flavor never gets old. Here's the short list of my kitchen experiments.


  • Browned butter-and-hazelnut mashed potatoes. When I want lush potatoes, this is my go-to dish.

  • Mushroom and Hazelnut Soup. When people call you a good cook, the real reason isn't always because of what you know but what combinations of flavors you choose. Like in this easy "nutshroom" soup.

  • Hazelnut Pesto Fish. Just about any fish fillet is enhanced by a crunchy topping.

  • Hazelnut Cornmeal Cake. Desserts are where hazelnuts really shine. Cakes, pies, candies, cookies, you name it. This unfrosted, one-layer cake is a good companion from breakfast through dinner.

The hazelnut's BFF is chocolate. Just Google chocolate-hazelnut desserts to find a bonanza. Want a quicker fix? Open a jar of Nutella. Spread it on bread. Stir a big spoonful into hot milk, or stir another spoonful into hot coffee. Eat a big spoonful "neat" on the sly.

NUTS ABOUT NUTS

Oregon is the epicenter of hazelnut production. That state has ideal weather conditions for growing the world's highest quality nuts. The temperate ocean, mountain and river climates are paired with rich volcanic soils. Oregon produces 99 percent of the U.S. hazelnut crop. While representing just five percent of the world crop, Oregon hazelnuts have become the global benchmark for large size and distinctive flavor. And you thought the Willamette Valley was all about Northwest wines.

STORAGE TIPS

The more hazelnuts (or any nuts) are processed, the shorter their shelf life. It's best to process (roast, chop, slice, grind) just before use. However, if you'd like to have hazelnuts handy for adding to a variety of dishes, then roast and freeze them in an airtight container. They will keep for more than a year in the freezer, and you can remove the amount you need.

BLANCHED NUTS

If you can't find blanched (skinless) hazelnuts when your recipe calls for them, use regular hazelnuts instead — just remove the dry skins first. Toast nuts on a baking sheet until fragrant and browned (about 10 minutes at 350 degrees), then wrap them, still warm, in a barely damp kitchen towel and rub and roll until they're bare-ish. If a few bits of skin are left, that's fine.

ROASTING

This is a good method for just eating out of hand. Roasting hazelnuts intensifies their flavor and develops their color. Best results can be achieved using a low temperature and longer time. To roast, spread whole nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 275 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Take care not to over roast, as nuts can scorch quickly. To remove skins, wrap warm hazelnuts in a dish towel and let them sit for five to 10 minutes. Rub vigorously in the towel. Many varieties don't lose their skins entirely, which is a good thing. Hazelnut skins add nutrients and color.

WHAT'S IN THE NAME?

The name is controversial. Are they hazelnuts or filberts? Short answer, the names are interchangeable. Longer answer, advocates of either name like to nit-pick. People have regional preferences for what they call their local species of nut from the genus Corylus. If you are in eastern North America, they may be called either filberts or hazelnuts, depending on your family history. If you are in the Pacific Northwest, they are filberts to the older generation; the younger generation knows them as hazelnuts, thanks to marketing starting in 1981. If you are in England or Europe, you probably call them filberts unless you specifically are speaking about cobnuts, which are another story altogether. If you are in Turkey, you probably call them hazelnuts. Of course, in Asia the local names are completely different.

It could drive a person nuts.



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.

Ingredients:

     3 pounds Yukon Gold or russet potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch chunks

     1 cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped 1/2 cup unsalted butter

     1 cup milk, warmed to steaming

     7-ounce container plain low-fat Greek yogurt

     2 teaspoons kosher salt

     1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

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.

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.

Ingredients:

     1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skins rubbed off

     4 tablespoons margarine

     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

     1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

     Chopped parsley for garnish

Directions:

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.



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HAZELNUT PESTO FISH

The sauce, a topping really, is good on any sort of fish you like.

Ingredients:

     1 large garlic clove

     1 cup fresh cilantro sprigs

     1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted

     1/4 teaspoon cayenne

     1/2 teaspoon salt

     1/3 cup olive oil

     1 1/2 pounds Arctic char fillets with skin

     Lime wedges for garnish

Directions:

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 1/4 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 1/4 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.

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.

Ingredients:

     1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned

     1/2 cup finely ground cornmeal

     1/2 cup cake flour

     1 teaspoon baking powder

     1/4 teaspoon salt

     1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature

     3/4 cup sugar

     4 large eggs, separated

     1 teaspoon vanilla

     Juice of 1/2 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.

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