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.
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.
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
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 & Apricot Rugulach
From the walnut experts.
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
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
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.