Since I’m starting to see that populating this blog with recipes at any frequency that can be meaningful to the reader will have to entail me cooking full-time (maybe something to look forward to in the not so distant future) I’ve decided to add a tip of the week post to try to fill in the blanks. It’s nothing earth shattering, it’s more stuff that I genuinely didn’t know about when I first started cooking a couple of years ago. Also, if anyone does have any tips they’d like to share, please do let me know, and we’ll try and get them up here.
So as you may have gathered from the other posts, toasted almonds, walnuts and pine nuts are almost a staple in my cooking, and getting them just right isn’t very easy, so here’s my two cents:
pine nuts are best toasted in a small pan on a stove top, on a medium high heat. They go from white to burnt in about 5 milliseconds so you need to keep your eyes on them at all times. I usually dedicate my full attention for the 4-5 minutes needed to toast them. Shake the pan around and lift it off and on the heat to make sure they get as uniformly toasted as possible.
Almonds and walnuts are best toasted and browned in an oven, my go to temperature when I have to wing it is always 180 degrees C, make sure the oven is preheated and the fan and the top heating element are on. Since walnuts are already a tad bitter, they don’t need much time in the oven (4-5mins) almonds can stand the heat a bit longer (about 10- mins) just make sure you keep your eyes on them especially when you start to smell the lovely toasty smell. I usually like to take almonds as far as possible without burning them, but it’s a matter of personal preference. So like them a nice and deep brown.