Hazelnuts (aka Filberts) are on sale at Trader Joe's in Boulder this month. One of my favorites. I like them in salads. They are delicious in granola. They are good all by themselves as a snack. They are on sale for $7.99/pound which is a great deal.
They are raw and not peeled, however. No problem! Though sort of messy and tedious, this method really works. Then, for the best flavor, toast them until lightly browned and crunchy. I've also tried toasting them to get the skins off. Doesn't work consistently. Hazelnut skins are bitter so I go for the blanching method.
How to Blanch Hazelnuts:
Bring 1 ½ cups of water to a boil. Add ½ to 1 cup hazelnuts and 2 Tablespoons baking soda. Turn down heat to maintain a steady boil and boil for 3 minutes. When the timer goes off, run a few nuts under cold water and if the skin slips off of all of them, they are done. Otherwise, boil for another minute. Pour the nuts and the now black water into a strainer and run under cool water. Slip the skin off each nut and place in a dry dish towel (one you are willing to sacrifice-it will be permanently stained afterward). Rub to dry the nuts, then toast in a 300°F oven until browned, 15-20 minutes.
|After a little rubdown in a paper towel. The skins come right off!|
Cara Cara Navel Oranges
Cara Cara oranges are pink on the inside, sweet, and seedless. Winter is citrus season and Cara Cara's are one of the best. According to Trader Joe's, they were first discovered in Venezuela in 1976. A little citrus trivia - many new varieties come from random hybrids. Since citrus (like most tree fruits) is cultivated by grafting rather than seeds, one tree with unusual and delicious qualities can be propagated around the world. Nowadays, Cara Cara's are cultivated in California and Florida. Their flavor is more complex than regular navel oranges - a little spicy. Give them a try. They look beautiful in fruit salads.