Posts Tagged ‘almonds’

Simple but delicious: sauteed chard with garlic and toasted almonds.  This particular red chard came from my garden, but you could easily use any variety that you find at the farmer’s market.  I particularly love the chard with vibrantly colored stems because they’re just so darn beautiful!  And who can resist beautiful?

Chard with garlic and toasted almonds

Since greens wilt down so drastically as they cook, I typically use a pot that seems just a little too small.  That way, by the time they’ve wilted, they remain somewhat crowded and don’t dry out before they’re done cooking.

  • 1 bunch chard
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons raw, whole almonds
  • 1 Tablespoon pure olive oil
  • kosher salt, to taste

Toast the almonds on a small tray or small oven-proof saute pan at 400ºF for about 10 minutes.  They should be barely golden in the center.  Cool completely and roughly chop.

Wash the chard and trim off the stems.  Slice the stems into 1/4-inch pieces and set aside.  Stack the leaves on top of each other and cut them into 1-inch pieces.  Set aside.

Place a pot over medium heat and add the olive oil.  When the oil is hot, add the stems and a sprinkle of salt.  Saute for about 2 minutes.  Then add the chard leaves, a sprinkling of water (maybe a couple teaspoons), and another pinch of salt. Cover  and allow the greens to wilt for 1-2 minutes.  Lift the lid and stir, then replace the lid and continue to wilt.  Depending upon the time of year, chard can take anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes to cook.  If the chard is really hardy, you may need a little extra water to help it tenderize.  If the chard is tender, you may leave the lid off, allowing the water to evaporate on it’s own.  When the chard is nearly ready, push it to one side of the pot and add a few drops of olive oil to the bare spot.  Place the minced garlic on the oil and allow it to sit for about 15 seconds, until it becomes aromatic.  Stir the garlic into the greens.  Taste for salt and add a bit more if necessary.

Remove the chard to a serving platter and top with toasted almonds.  Simple and delicious!


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I highly recommend being young at heart.  I’m pretty sure it’s good for the soul.  Kind of like singing.  Loud.  Anywhere.  Like in the shower.  Using the shampoo bottle as the microphone.  I’m just offering suggestions.  Really, you can sing into whatever you want.  Like the bar of soap, for instance.  Personally, I’m partial to Simon and Garfunkel in the shower.  Cecilia, you’re breakin’ my heart, you’re shakin’ my confidence daily… But, you know- to each his own…

Anyway, back to the young at heart thing.  I’ve noticed something about Scott.  He’s become a milk drinker.  I can usually tell what he’s had for dinner based on the dishes next to the sink.  Now I’d hate to give you the impression that his meals are un-square but… when all I see are a few crumbs and an empty glass of milk, well, I can make a fairly accurate assessment.

Lo and behold.  Someone has been eating cookies and milk for dinner.  But to be truly young at heart, you really must be a dunker.  You must hold that cookie in your glass of milk sooooo long that it becomes fully saturated and nearly falls to the bottom of the glass.  This is simply how it’s done.   So if you find that you’re striving to be young at heart, I suggest that you give this cookie-milk-dunker-dinner thing a try.  I’ve been taking lessons from Scott and I think I may have a knack for it!

Almond-chocolate sandwich cookies barely adapted from The Baker’s Dozen Cookbook
yields 40 individual cookies, 20 sandwiches

  • 1 cup whole raw almonds, toasted and cooled
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • scant 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 5 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

Place the fully cooled almonds and 3 Tablespoons of the sugar in the bowl of a food processor, and grind to the consistency of fine cornmeal.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and remaining sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Scrape down the bowl and add the egg, extract, and almond mixture, beating to combine.  Scrape down the bowl, and add the flour mixture on low speed, mixing just until combined.  Cover tightly and refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Place an oven rack in the center position, and preheat the oven to 350°.  Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Measure the dough in to 1-teaspoon sized portions.  Place 2 portions at a time on the palm of your hand and roll them to make 2 individual balls.  (This is simply faster than rolling one ball at a time!)  Place the balls 1-1/2 inches apart on the baking sheets, and bake, one tray at a time, until the cookies are lightly golden all over, about 10-12 minutes.

Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for about 3 minutes, then remove them to a cooling rack.

Prepare a double boiler by placing a heat-proof bowl over a pot of shallow, simmering water- do not allow the water to touch the base of the bowl.  Place the chocolate in the bowl and stir every-so often until it is completely melted.  Using a small knife or spoon, spread about 1/2 teaspoon of chocolate on the bottom of one cookie, then sandwich with another cookie.  Repeat until all the sandwiches have been made.  Allow to cool for at least 2 hours to allow the chocolate to harden (or give them a brief stint in the refrigerator).  Once cooled, store in an air-tight container.

Don’t forget the tall glass of milk!

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PA170005Broccoli was one of the first vegetables I would eat as a kid.  T-Bone steaks and broccoli were my birthday dinner of choice most years.  And I have kept the love alive!  I came across this lovely idea on Smitten Kitchen and it’s a winner.  And I’m sorry to just re-do what other people have done, but this slaw was really good, and really worth it!  I changed a few things for my own taste.  Here’s what I did.

Broccoli Slaw adapted from Smitten Kitchen

This slaw is best made about 30 minutes ahead, so that the vegetables begin to soften slightly- don’t worry, they’ll still have plenty of crunch!

  • 1 head raw broccoli, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds, lightly chopped
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup whole-milk yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • a hefty pinch of salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, yogurt, vinegar, olive oil, a pinch of salt, and pepper.  In a medium bowl, combine the broccoli, onion, raisins, and another pinch of salt.  Pour about 3/4 of the dressing over the salad and toss with your hands, making sure that everything gets coated equally.  Allow to sit for about 30 minutes.  When you’re ready to serve, toss in the almonds.  Yum.

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