Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Green Beans Amandine Recipe

Here's Jeannette's and Christopher's recipe for Green Beans with Barsy's Almonds.

1    Pound fresh green beans, trimmed

1    Tablespoon olive oil

1/4 Teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 Cup of your favorite Barsy's Almonds

Heat oven to 375. Toss green beans in a baking pan with olive oil and salt. Bake 30 minutes. Stir in almonds.

I remember having something like this at my grandmother's house on Sundays. The grownups called them "Beans Amandine," and I wondered what "amandine' meant. Now I bake amandes. Around here, we call this "hot dish."

This will serve 4-6. The entire dish will have about 485 calories, 8 grams of protein, 47 grams of carbohydrate, 21 grams fiber, 20 grams of fat (the good kind), and pretty good vitamin A, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

I think I'll make this with Hotties to spice up the evening.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Biscotti Recipe & Luck, Wisconsin

Saturday Barbara will be at the Natural Alternative Food Co-op in Luck, Wisconsin (241 South Main Street, 715-472-6544). It's Customer Appreciation Day. Drop by to say hi, and sample some Smokies, Sweeties, Naughties, Hotties, and Stuffies.

Take home some Naughties (or any other flavor) and try baking some of Christopher and Jeanette's Barsy's Almond Biscotti.

3 eggs

Grated peel of 2 oranges

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup of your favorite Barsy's Almonds

Heat oven to 300. Whisk egs, orange peel, vanilla and almond extract. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt, and add egg mixture, mixing until just blended. Stir in almonds.

Divide dough in half and form each half into a log measuring 12 by 1 1/2 inches and 1/2 inch thick. Bake on a prachment-lined baking sheet 50 minutes, until golden. Cool on a cooling rack for 5 minutes.

Reduce oven heat to 275. Slice biscotti 1/2 inch thick on a cutting board with a serated knife. Lay slices flat on baking sheets and bake 20 minutes until dry and lightly toasted, turning once. Cool on a cooling rack.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Almond Taxonomy: Or How Dogs Are Closer To Cats Than Almonds Are To Walnuts

We're putting on our Mr. Wizard hats today, and doing a little science.

Cats and dogs are closer to each other than almonds are to walnuts. Pretentious people everywhere call cats Felis catus (it's really not a Monty Python joke!). Cats are of the family Felidae and the order Carnivora. Dogs, Canis lupus familiaris, are of the family Canidae, and same order as cats, Carnivora.

Got that? Carnivora, at the "order" level, is the umbrella that dogs and cats share. Cute picture.

Almonds, Prunus amygdalus, are from the Rosaceae family and the Rosales order. Walnuts, Juglans regia, are of the Juglandaceae family and the Fagales order. So we have to go up one more level than dogs and cats to the Rosid clade to get an umbrella over both almonds and walnuts.

Well, that and a quarter will get you over the bridge at Keokuk.

Almonds are more closely related to peaches and other stone fruits. Notice the word "prune" hidden in their Latin name. An almond -- called a "drupe" -- is a seed, inside the fruit of an almond tree.

The fruit's flesh, we have read, is tough and fuzzy, and, looking at pictures, about as thick as an almond. That doesn't sound appetizing, and we've been to a lot of lavishly stocked grocery stores and never seen almond fruit.

But inside that leathery hide, crack open the stone, and there's a tasty, nutritious kernel of goodness. And Barsy's Almonds seasons and bakes ten tons of them -- and growing --  each year for you.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Recipe For Almond Pesto

Cook with almonds. Cook with Barsy's Almonds!

Friends Jeanette and Christopher gave us sixty recipes using Barsy's. Christopher is a chef, and has entertained us with some surprising, and very good vittles. Like his raspberry-thyme sherbet. Really good! We froze a bunch of spinach from last year's garden, and have been eating from that layer in the freezer lately, so here's Chris and Jeanette's recipe for Barsy's Spinach Almond Pesto.

1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup your favorite Barsy's Almonds
1 package or 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed almost dry
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until the mixture is the consitency you prefer.

We used Smokies, and -- confession -- used a full cup, skipping the pine nuts. It occurs to us that the daring might think a Hotties pesto mighty good.