Posted January 12, 2013 by Jeremy Smith in How To

Tips for going nuts with your holiday recipes this year

No matter whether you&rsquore roasting them more than an open fire or cooking them into your vacation favorites, nuts can be utilized to boost virtually any recipe. You&rsquod be tough-pressed to locate an ingredient with far more versatility, as nuts can be used to develop a flavor accent or to supply some further crunch and texture even though maintaining dishes fresh and light. Whether or not you&rsquore employing almonds, pecans or roasted peanuts, the possibilities are limitless.

For celebrity chef Alex Guarnaschelli, regular judge on Food Network&rsquos Chopped and executive chef at The Darby and Butter in New York, the vacation entertaining season provides a great opportunity to share some of her favorite recipes.

&ldquoI&rsquom a chef, but I&rsquom also a mom and I want time to invest with my loved ones for the duration of the holidays,&rdquo says Guarnaschelli. &ldquoNuts are one particular of those unique ingredients that give a dish an extra special touch, but still let me to keep it easy.&rdquo

This holiday season Guarnaschelli has developed a series of exclusive recipes and ideas to show at-house cooks how ingredients like nuts can effortlessly generate a chef-caliber dish.

* Healthy vacation snack: Nuts add fantastic flavor and texture when mixed into recipes, but they can also be a wholesome snack&mdashseason nuts with a small cayenne and rapidly roast them in a tiny olive or nut oil. Try using the Fisher Nuts Freshness Seal Bag &ndash it has a re-sealable closure that will retain the leftover nuts fresh following the package is opened.&nbsp

* Basically scrumptious dessert: For a excellent addition to your holiday dessert table, melt some sugar in a pan till golden brown and stir in some nuts. Transfer the mixture to a baking sheet to cook and then break into pieces for a speedy and simple nut brittle.

* Top rated off a side dish: Parsley and basil are fantastic flavors to finish a lot of vacation dishes. Try chopping parsley with some Fisher almonds for added texture and taste.

* Spruced-up spice rub: For this year&rsquos holiday roast, attempt adding some ground nuts to the spice rub. The nuts can mellow some of the heat from the spice and add required richness to the mix.

Braised Parsnips with Maple Syrup and Fisher Pecans

&ldquoI grew up consuming braised carrots with brown sugar, so I constantly associate them with the holidays,&rdquo says Guarnaschelli. &ldquoI really like the freshness and unusual sweetness parsnips have and they seem to naturally gravitate to pecans. It&rsquos also excellent to feature pecans in other places in addition to pecan pie for the holidays.&rdquo

8 medium parsnips, ends trimmed and thoroughly peeled

two tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin seeds, lightly crushed

1 teaspoon coriander seeds, lightly crushed

1/two cup Fisher Pecan Halves

Kosher salt

1/2 cup maple syrup

two-3 cups water

Location the peeled parsnips on a flat surface and cut them in half lengthwise. Heat a skillet huge enough to hold the parsnip halves in a single layer and add half the butter. When the butter melts and starts to get brown, add the pecans, cumin and coriander. Stir in the pecans and &ldquotoast&rdquo them with the spices for a minute. Strain out the pecans and set aside. Add the parsnip halves and remaining butter to the pan. Season with salt and add the maple syrup.

Continue to cook the parsnips more than medium heat for an additional minute of two. Add some water and continue cooking the parsnips till they are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. Parsnips can differ in size so feel free of charge to add a splash of water to finish the cooking approach, if necessary. Stir the nuts back into the parsnips. Serve right away. Serves four to 6.

For a lot more of Alex&rsquos ideas on cooking with nuts and special recipes for the holiday season, pay a visit to Fishernuts.com/alex.

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Jeremy Smith