I blanched all the almonds for this year's Christmas baking. Rather, R and I blanched them all, he'd want adequate credit because his almond peeling skills are far superior to mine, for some reason. Aren't we an adorable couple sitting up at night peeling almonds by candle light because electricity hasn't been invented yet, and neither have pre-blanched almonds. Oh wait...
Friday, December 26, 2008
My mother sends me bizarre care packages (I know I'm an adult, but she cares, okay?). 5 lb. bags of whole, raw almonds from Costco, dried cherries, blueberries, apricots and wonderful ink pens in bulk. So I had a 5 lb. bag of whole, raw almonds sitting in the freezer and that's why they were being blanched by the two of us.
We blanch as any couple blanches. Boil water, add nuts, continue to boil for a few minutes, then remove from heat. After that, we ladle the nuts onto a cookie sheet one spoonful at a time so the ladled ones can cool a bit and the un-ladled ones stay moist. With just a moderate squeeze in the middle, the skin hiccups the nut right out. Not to bad. It's a nice kind of meditative work, pleasant, actually, with the right company.
Since the nuts are waterlogged once they're shucked, I had the brilliant idea of spreading them out on the cookie sheet and storing them in our gas oven over night, letting the pilot light dry them out. Works like a charm. But.
One more seemingly random detail: our landlord is a really awful person. It's been freezing in NYC lately and on the night of our blanching, he still hadn't turned the heat on in the apartment building (booo, hisss). The next morning, R got up and left well before I did, and being as thoughtful as he is, turned the oven on so we could get a little heat. I awoke to a warming-up apartment and the beautiful smell of roasting almonds.
So if you find yourself with a windfall of toasted almonds, here's a few things you might do with them:
A perfect stew for these cold winter evenings, Lynnylu's version looks just wonderful.
If you're not a veg and would prefer normal chorizo, just substitute it in. Chickpeas, almonds, chorizo... Oh please give me a plate right now!
Umm, I think the title pretty much says it all for this one. If you're in the mood for something sweet, this would be a good way to go!
Need to sate an earthy beet craving? Wanna use up some toasted almonds in the process? This is definitely going on the list!
These cookies are described as being like "chewy amaretti cookies with bursts of intense flavor." Take the advice and serve it with an amaretto on the rocks ;-)
This sounds like a delicious, flavorful antidote to holiday over-eating.
Always perfect in her simplicity. How can food be at once elegant and comforting? This is how. (Scroll down, it's from October 28).
Not a blog, but it looks too good to pass up.
You won't mind waking up on a blistery day for these bad boys!
What, it's no longer autumn you say? Well if you can still find a good butternut squash, we can pretend.
Aren't these bloggers so very creative? I should never have worried about having almost 2 lbs of well toasted almonds.