tips please, candied or spiced walnut ideas
I have decided to gather, dry and bake off the free goods...I want to cook and package for the Holiday Season- any "must do" spicey or savory recipes? Candied? Any tips on cleaning the leather skin? I have black walnuts as well as the english- but have always found the meat in the blacks to tiny to bother- am I wrong?
The meat of black walnuts is very rich and though they are a pain to shell are worth it. Before you do anything with them I recommend that you blanch them a minute or two in boiling water and then rinse and toast for 15-20 minutes at 350 F. The oils in the nuts come to the surface very quickly (pecans too) shortly after picking and become rancid quickly giving the nuts a bitter flavor. I routinely do this with any nuts that I buy and then store in the freezer. They are delicious and ready to use at any time.
Here is the recipe I use for candied pecans. They are addictive! I am sure it would work with walnuts too.
1 cup pecan halves
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Prepare a large sheet of parchment paper or foil for cooling pecans.
Stir sugar, oil, and vinegar in a large skillet over medium heat until sugar melts and syrup bubbles, about 3 minutes. Mix in pecans and stir until nuts are toasted and syrup coats them evenly, 5-6 minutes. Turn nuts out onto prepared parchment paper and separate using 2 forks. Cool completely. Nuts can be prepared way in advance (up to 1 month) and stored in an airtight container.
The widow of Charles See the last family member-owner of See's Candy gave me this recipe in 1984. I'm sure she got it from someone else, but I have no idea who. Even people who don't like walnuts, like these. However, this calls for English Walnuts; not sure if it works with Black.
Anne See's Fried Walnuts
Take raw walnut halves and boil in water until skins loosen (about five or six minutes). Put in strainer to drain. To remove the skins (where the bitterness comes from), place the nuts between paper towels and rub gently, being careful not to break the halves.
Toss the skinned walnuts in a generous 1 cup of white sugar, then fry in hot oil until golden. Drain, and spread out on parchment paper. Salt lightly. ***
I know that really good Chinese restaurants skin their walnuts before adding them to Walnut Chicken, and this is the way it's done, sans sugar and salt.