Day 353: Salmon Noodle Casserole and Meringue Walnuts

Meringue+Walnuts Day 353: Salmon Noodle Casserole and Meringue Walnuts

My name is Julie and I have a Nutella problem.

Evidence of my use: spoons scattered all over the house. Chocolate drips on my chin. Mike is planning an intervention if he ever finds a secret stash down behind the dryer.

Today I took over traffic on the Homestretch, and it was brutal. More so for everyone out driving than for me of course, but imagine 3 solid hours of answerinng calls, taking notes from people in their cars and tracking police and city websites for collisions and other incidents, trying to organize all the info (although I kept checking them I had around 20 messages on the machine at all times, most of which I didn’t get to until after the show; sorry if one of them was you) into a cohesive traffic report with all the directions and intersections and streets and avenues right and go into the studio to do a new one about every 7 minutes. Traffic reporters are on the ball, let me tell you. Food is so much more my thing than traffic. I’m just not as passionate about a stalled vehicle blocking the off ramp from northbound 14th St. onto eastbound Glenmore.

Since the show airs until 6 it was impossible for me to get home much before 7, so a goodly wife I was not – plus I had a lot to prep for my healthy holiday food segment on Global tomorrow morning. So leftovers it was – the last of a noodle casserole I made the other day (it must have been for lunch) to use up the last of those salmon chunks, which originally had been marinated in maple syrup, soy sauce, lime juice, ginger and garlic and were quite flavourful on their own.

Salmon+Casserole Day 353: Salmon Noodle Casserole and Meringue Walnuts

I decided to use it instead of tuna in a tuna-style casserole; really all I did was cook up some noodles while I made a quick sauce out of butter, flour and milk, added the salmon chunks and some frozen peas, poured it over the noodles and topped it with grated cheese and baked it. A good use of leftover salmon, I think. Maybe even better than tuna. So the last of it went into a little baking dish and into the toaster oven to reheat.

These nuts I used to make all the time, then one day I took a sabbatical from them. But do you remember how last winter I was smitten with hazelnuts? This year it’s walnuts. Which should not, by the way, ever be bitter – if they are, they are rancid. They should be mellow and sweet and wonderful. I had to make some for the show tomorrow – hopefully there will be some left in the morning.

Meringue Nuts

These nuts are lightly coated with a layer of sweetened egg white, which can carry any flavour you like. Use white sugar instead of brown, or try maple sugar if you can get your hands on some.

1 large egg white
3 cups walnut halves
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1-2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch allspice
pinch nutmeg

Preheat oven to 300°F.

In a medium bowl, beat egg white until foamy. Stir in nuts, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt, allspice and nutmeg.

Spread the mixture into a single layer on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray or lined with foil. Bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden. Cool on the pan. Makes 3 cups.

Per 1/3 cup: 285 calories, 24 g total fat (1.7 g saturated fat, 10.2 g monounsaturated fat, 10.8 g polyunsaturated fat), 7.1 g protein, 15.1 g carbohydrate, 0 mg cholesterol, 2.3 g fiber. 71% calories from fat

Indian Spiced Walnuts

1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp. curry powder
2 tsp. each ground cumin and ground ginger
1 tsp. each coarse salt and cinnamon
4 cups California walnut halves

In large bowl, combine egg whites with spices; stir in walnuts and coat thoroughly. Coat a large, shallow baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Spread nuts onto prepared pan. Bake at 350°F 15 to 18 minutes, until dry and crisp. Cool completely before serving.

Makes 4 cups.

Cookie of the Day: Walnut-Apricot Rugelach. I love rugelach, but haven’t made it in about a decade. Every year it’s on my to-do list. Do them with apricot jam or marmalade, and fresh walnuts. (SK has a pretty impressive-looking rugelach pinwheel cookie if you’d rather slice and bake.)

Walnut+Rugelach Day 353: Salmon Noodle Casserole and Meringue Walnuts

Walnut & Apricot Rugulach

From the walnut experts.

Pastry:
1 pkg (8oz/250 g) regular or light cream cheese, softened
1 cup butter, softened
2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Filling:
1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped California walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger and cardamom
3/4 cup apricot jam or marmalade

Topping:
1 egg
2 Tbsp coarse sugar

Pastry: In large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy; beat in sugar. Stir in flour until well combined. Form into a ball; cut into 4 pieces and shape into discs. Wrap individually in plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before rolling.

Filling: In small bowl, stir together walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom.

On lightly floured surface, roll each disc into an 11″ circle about 1/4″ thick. Spread 3 Tbsp. jam or marmalade over top; sprinkle with a quarter of the walnut mixture. Cut into 12 wedges. Starting from the wide end, roll up each wedge to form a crescent roll.

Place each crescent two inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

Beat egg lightly; brush over each crescent and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake at 350F until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes before transferring to rack to cool completely. Makes 48 rugulach.
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December 18 2008 11:16 pm | appetizers and seafood and snacks

10 Responses to “Day 353: Salmon Noodle Casserole and Meringue Walnuts”

  1. Robyn on 19 Dec 2008 at 2:07 am #

    Hi! My name is Robyn and I too have a Nutella problem. It has ever so dramatically increased since I have come to Germany, where Nutella and Nutella-like products lined a single aisle at the grocery stores. And it is cheap! The locals all seem to use it in everything they make – street vendors will smear it on large French crepes, cover with sliced bananas and then give the whole thing a great dose of brandy or grand marnier before folding it up and giving it to you to eat. Germany is an Nutella addicts Nirvana and if I could (and if it weren’t so costly), I would send you crates of the stuff to feed your addiction, Julie. So here’s to all the Nutella addicts out there!

  2. Jan on 19 Dec 2008 at 6:30 am #

    Hi Julie
    Can you use other nuts for these recipes?

  3. Christina on 19 Dec 2008 at 7:14 am #

    Thank you for sharing the info about bitter walnuts mean they have gone rancid. I’ve got a big bag of walnuts in my freezer that have been bitter since I bought them at costco thinking it was a great deal but obviously it’s not so great if they are rancid. I thought I just didn’t like them. Thanks for the info!

  4. Fiona on 19 Dec 2008 at 9:55 am #

    I didn’t know that about walnuts, either.

    I also didn’t know that about traffic reporters, and I applaud you for even attempting it.

  5. Christina on 19 Dec 2008 at 10:10 am #

    PS. I’m making Fruitcake Julie!! I’m a little nervous but I’ll let you know how it goes (Oh Lord, I’ve started talking to you as though you’re a personal friend now LOL).

  6. Natalie B on 19 Dec 2008 at 12:14 pm #

    I love Nutella!! I eat it almost every day :P I think it’s my Dutch heritage coming through

  7. Kathy H on 19 Dec 2008 at 7:46 pm #

    Hey, Julie. Rugelach has been on my baking list for, seriously, two decades. But you always make things sound so easy and reasonable, I think I will have a stab at it too! Thanks! (Whaddya think? a swipe of Nutella before rolling little wedges?)

    BTW to Christina, Julie IS a personal friend, we just haven’t met her yet! (I think I know her and like her better than some of my face-to-face friends!)

  8. Christina on 19 Dec 2008 at 8:03 pm #

    Kathy, you’re totaly right!! I’m so glad I’m not the only one to feel that way!

  9. claire on 22 Dec 2008 at 1:23 am #

    Wow Julie you sounded so composed that day on the Homestretch, I’m not kidding. So nice work. It was so crazy out there…

    Nutella, I understand. I found something else that I think is better, Choc Ooh Lala by health nut, which you can get at Community. It’s a raw organic cocoa spread with less sugar than nutella, and has omega fatty acids. So when I eat it by the spoonful, I can tell myself, “I am eating health food right now..”

    http://ilovealbertabeets.blogspot.com/2008/09/mmmchocolate.html

  10. Christmas Stollen | dinner with Julie on 18 Dec 2009 at 11:24 pm #

    [...] One Year Ago: Meringue Walnuts and Indian Spiced Nuts [...]

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