Monday, May 20, 2013

Spring Cooking with Fisher Nuts and Chef Alex Guarnaschelli {Prize Pack Giveaway!}

 Fisher Nuts logo
With the warm weather and cheer of spring here, families everywhere are ditching the winter coats and getting outside to enjoy the sunshine.

While one big sign of spring is colorful flowers blooming, another is the return of so many tasty fresh fruits and vegetables. Instead of having strawberries, blueberries and sweet corn flown in from other climates, suddenly they are growing right here in the Midwest, fresh and delicious.

So there's no better way to celebrate springtime and our expanded food selections than with some delectable new recipes for cooking and baking. Which is why I love that Fisher Nuts is continuing to partner with Food Network Chef Alex Guarnaschelli, a recent winner on Iron Chef and a regular judge on Chopped, to offer a fresh twist on spring recipes.

Using seasonal ingredients like fresh nuts and produce can help bring your recipes to life and Chef Alex has recommendations for taking your spring cuisine to a new level!

Chef Alex Guarnaschelli

During this past holiday season, I mentioned Chef Alex's incredible credentials and many of her tips for cooking with nuts, but that was far from being all of them. After all, you don't open your own restaurant and appear over and over on national television without knowing a thing or two about cooking, right?

Here are more of Chef Alex's tips for cooking with nuts:
  • Savory & Sassy Sauces: Slow cooking a piece of meat? Add a few nuts to some of the cooking liquid, blend it smooth and pour it back into the rest of the cooking liquid to naturally enrich the flavor and thicken your sauce.
  • Fresh Twist on Rice: Nuts are delicious in a classic rice pilaf. Stir some roasted nuts into the rice just before serving. You can also mix nuts with wild rice.
  • Top It Off: Parsley and basil are great flavors to finish many holiday dishes. Try chopping parsley with some Fisher almonds for added texture and taste.
  • Quick and Simple Dessert: For a great addition to your dessert table, melt some sugar in a pan until golden brown and stir in some nuts. Transfer the mixture to a baking sheet to cook and then break into pieces for a quick and simple nut brittle.
Mmmm! Combining these tips as well as looking over Alex's tasty recipes (the Strawberry Crostata with Walnuts, Green Bean and Almond Salad and Baked Clams with Walnuts all sound tasty!), I was ready to put my Fisher Nuts Spring Cooking Prize Package to use for something yummy my whole family would enjoy.

Fisher Nuts prize pack

While all of Chef Alex's recipes sounded pretty perfect for spring, I decided to challenge myself and follow one that was a bit more complex than what I might typically make.

cooking with nuts

Strawberry Crostata with Walnuts

The dough
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus some additional for rolling out the dough
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Zest of 1 lemon
1½ sticks unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

The filling
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 pints strawberries, hulled and split
¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
¾ cup Fisher® Walnut Halves, coarsely chopped

Directions

Dough: In the food processor, combine flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Pulse to blend. Add the butter and pulse until crumbly. Pour the cold water through the hole in the top of the machine and pulse only to combine. Form into an 8" long cylinder (about 2" in diameter) and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

homemade dough

Filling: Heat a large sauté pan over high heat. Place a baking sheet next to the stove. When the sauté pan is fairly hot, add the butter for the filling. When it melts and foams slightly, add the strawberries.

Toss to coat with the butter and add ¼ cup sugar, lemon zest and juice. Toss to blend and allow some of the liquid to escape from the berries and reduce.

cooking strawberries

After 2 minutes, sprinkle with cornstarch, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring for an additional 2 minutes. Transfer to the baking sheet. Spread the strawberry mixture out so it cools faster and refrigerate until very cool.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut into 8 equal pieces. Press each disk with your hand to flatten and using a rolling pin, roll each piece into a circle that is about 6-inches in diameter and about 1/8 inch thick. Make sure you flour lightly under and on top of the dough as you roll it. Trim edges with a sharp paring knife or circular pizza cutter if you want a cleaner edge on the crostata.

crostata dough

Meanwhile, remove strawberry mixture from refrigerator and transfer to a fine strainer placed over a bowl. Strain strawberries so that almost no liquid remains with the berries, being sure not to crush the fruit.

Arrange the tart rounds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place 1 tablespoon walnuts onto the center of each round. Divide the cooked strawberries evenly among the dough circles.

strawberry crostata

Fold the sides up tightly around the fruit to form a purse, making the fruit the center, they will open slightly during baking. Cover the opening left after folding with a few more walnuts. Refrigerate circles if they become too soft to handle.

Place the baking sheet in the center of the oven and bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Top with any remaining walnuts. Sprinkle with sugar for added texture. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to serving plates using a wide spatula. Serve immediately.

strawberry crostata recipe

This spring and beyond, be sure to turn to Fisher Nuts for nuts of all kinds, including mixes for snacking and baking. Their commitment to quality and excellence ensures that all of their products are perfect for your favorite brownie recipe, used in a delicious breading, sprinkled across a fresh spring salad, and much more.

You can also head over for inspiration on the Fisher Nuts Facebook page, Chef Alex's Twitter handle, in her recipes and her tips for cooking with nuts to make your spring and summer meals ones to remember.

And, thanks to the generosity of Fisher Nuts, one person will be prepared to to test out some of Alex’s recipes (and create some of their own) as well, because...

One lucky person will win a
Fisher Nuts Spring Cooking Prize Pack* (ARV $56)!

*Prize Pack includes: (1) Trudeau 5-Piece Measuring Spoon Set, set of (3) Trudeau Melamine Mixing Bowls, (6) Casabella Jumbo Muffin Cups, Fisher Chef’s Naturals Sliced Almonds, Fisher Chef’s Naturals Walnut Halves & Pieces and Fisher Pecan Halves


I am working with Fisher to share Chef Alex Guarnaschelli’s recipes using Fisher Nuts and tools they provided. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

334 comments:

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Rusthawk said...

pecan pie

apple blossom said...

pecan pie

Urd-chan said...

Oh, my favorite way to eat most nuts is just by themselves, but I do love walnuts in fudge, brownies, banana bread, and many other recipes. Almonds are my favorite nut and of course, there's almond bark, and so many other things you can use it for.

Treesa said...

I love zucchini cake with walnuts

cc_girly(at)yahoo(dot)com

Miss Sarah said...

I love Pecan Pie Bars!

Thanks for the giveaway!

Darlene said...

I love chocolate chip cookies with walnuts.

Jessica said...

peach cobbler topped with pecans!
sagegiveaway@yahoo.com

Stefanie Elysse Hurtado said...

I love Beet, Goat Cheese, and Spinach salad topped with Walnuts and a raspberry vinaigrette!

naomi c said...

i love to throw them in brownies for a little crunch

Dianne McVetty said...

Pecan Pie is my favorite! But my Mom makes a delicious Jam Cake during the Holidays with nuts. Thanks.

McKim said...

I love pecan pie.

mecarolks said...

I like pecan pie

Lloyd Family said...

my mom's lemon pie

huntcm74 said...

Chicken with cashews from chinese place

Paol Trenny said...

chocolate almonds cake with butter cream

Paol Trenny said...

Followed on GFC …as Paol Trenny …pls use emscout9 at hotmail dot com instead of gmail to contact me
Followed on Google +…..…...... as Paol Trenny …pls use emscout9 at hotmail dot com instead of gmail to contact me

nicolesender said...

I like nuts in my banana bread.
nicolesender(at)yahoo(dot)com

Brit Christianson said...

Pecan Pie!

tara pittman said...

I use nuts in my oatmeal

JJ Caraway said...

I love a recipe that my mother in law gave me called crunchy cole slaw that you add toasted sliced almonds to it.

Chris Alejandro said...

I'd have to go with Pecan pie! lexbaylor17 (at) gmail (dot) com

Di said...

Pecan & Chocolate Pie

Nancy Hall said...

I like putting nuts in my brownies and oatmeal cookies.

Carmen said...

I love putting nuts in anything chocolate, especially brownies. It really gives it a whole different flavor.

Kim said...

Probably walnut bars. Simple recipe on a shortbread crust, and mixed with brown sugar - simple and reminds me of being a kid.

cherriblossom25 said...

I love Russian Tea Cakes.

Familyof5 said...

I like to add some peanuts on my papaya salad

xuanthaohkus(at)yahoo(dot)com

awlynn said...

macadamia nut cookies

Mippy Foofalina said...

I love toooo many things with nuts in them. One of my faves is banana nut bread. :)

Amanda Gilds said...

Banana Nut Bread

Faythe M.A said...

I like to make shrimp fried rice with toasted slivered almonds. I also like almonds & cashews raw,munchies!
Faythe @GrammyMouseTails

Susan C said...

I like nuts in cookies and brownies.

Roy F. said...

My favorite is banana nut bread

Kayla said...

My mom's pecan pralines, they are awesome! :)

Sherry Butcher said...

I love chocolate dipped nuts! easy and sooo good.

Bo said...

Pecan pie or banana nut bread are my 2 favorites!

RJ said...

Chocolate Chip cookies with Walnuts

sheila ressel said...

brownies with walnuts in them

Anonymous said...

I love nuts on so many things... I even put them in my salads. I LOVE to make fruit crisps with oatmeal and nuts. I adore walnuts or pecan in banana breads. I love to just snack on nuts.

ColleenMarie82 said...

I like adding walnuts to my salads.

Rebecca O said...

Pecan pie! So yummy!

Allison said...

banana bread!

Sarah said...

Turtle brownies!

Jammie Morey said...

banana but bread yummy.

Stevie said...

Making nutroll w/ walnuts around the Christmas & Easter holidays

calvad said...

My favorite recipe that includes nuts is pesto sauce!

Anonymous said...

Pecan Pie!!

Shelley P said...

My favorite recipe using nuts is brownies.

Deb K said...

Chocolate Chip Cookies with walnuts!

Teresa Young said...

Pecan pie!

Growl Tiger said...

I like walnuts in fudge brownies.

Melissa said...

cashew curry

PAIGE said...

I love brownies with mixed nuts.
elysesw@aol.com

Unknown said...

I love almonds in my salads
Ttrockwood(at)yahoo(dot)com
Ttrockwood

Jacquelyn Cannon said...

I would make banana walnut bread.
jackieque@comcast.net

chadro said...

mexican wedding cookies which are made with nuts and powdered sugar, flour salt and butter and vanilla

James Coyne said...

i love a good snickers bar

misterjim74 at gmail dot com

Gianna said...

Peanut butter dark chocolate chunk pecan cookies.

DC said...

Brownies are my favorite.

Lisa Pecora said...

Cookies

LIDARKSIDE said...

I love pecan pie.

Meaghan F. said...

Brownies with walnuts.

traci jarrett said...

I LOVE CRUSHING NUTS IN PIE CRUSTS

BethElderton said...

I have a salad almost every day for lunch that I sprinkle with walnuts. I made a sweet cinnamon bread for our weekend breakfast with dried fruits and walnuts. Pecan Pie is probably my favorite.
bethelderton59 at gmail dot com

Linda said...

I always add nuts to my cookie recipes.
mintstatesportswear(at)juno(dot)com

Diane Cooper said...

I love to make Cashew Fudge.

Kelly Boudreaux said...

Pecan Pie!

Robin T said...

I use walnuts in my brownies

rtrexel@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I love brownies with nuts

Clair said...

I love brownies with nuts!

susan1215 said...

I love banana nut bread and brownies with nuts.

s2s2 at comcast dot net

blueice12 said...

cookies

Susan Audrey said...

Pesto! (pine nuts) :D

Gina said...

Definitely pecan pie!

imaclutz89 said...

Banana Nut Muffins!

sugarsweet7202@yahoo(dot)com

Serenap95 said...

Turtle Pecan Cheesecake

Rebecca Lock said...

I like to make scones with crushed nuts.

Heather said...

spicy cashew chicken

john hutchens said...

pecans on my salmon cheese ball

Sandra said...

I love nuts I put them in almost everything yum

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries said...

I LOVE baklava! Sometimes I make it with walnuts, sometimes pistachios - my family loves it too!

Anonymous said...

pecan pie




cpsnsamples@aol.com

Anonymous said...

Homemade Banana Nut bread is one of my favorite baked goodies.

Erin E. said...

Mine would be white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies! Thank you for the wonderful giveaway!
Erin E
fairyfractal at gmail dot com

webwalking1 said...

Carrot Cake

pajamashift said...

I love date nut bread and banana bread with chopped nuts. mmmmmmmm....

Angela M said...

My favorite is Banana Nut Muffins.

Super Blogger Girl! said...

at christmas i make peanut butter brittle and it's the bomb!

greenhome said...

I love to roll salmon or chicken in flower and pecans and cook on the grill.

amy16323 said...

i love pistachios

Lisa Garner said...

I love fudge with walnuts.

Brandi Hawn said...

my favorite dish that includes nuts is pecan pie yummy! :)

Carolyn D. said...

I make our version of Mandelbrot with Walnuts
Thanks

jules mcnubbin (buttmuffin) said...

maple pecan crusted salmon..

Melanie Montgomery said...

My signature strawberry sundae

Melanie Montgomery said...

My signature strawberry sundae

CarrieAnn13 said...

My maple walnut cupcakes

Mosaic317 said...

I love fish encrusted with any nut, almonds, pistachio, all good!

brendaelsner said...

Chocolate fudge.

irishcahbomb said...

Peanut Butter Cups!

Unknown said...

Chocolate chip cookies with pecans
-Lilith katz

lilahshea said...

mini pecan pies =)

Cálaeb Temple said...

baklava!

Jean said...

I like chocolate chip cookies with nuts

Teresa Thompson said...

Toll House pie.

Unknown said...

Pad Thai

shankatz @ hotmail. com

LIza said...

This is really hard to pick...I love throwing nuts in my salads (veggie salads and grain-based salads). I also love to throw some sliced almonds in my yogurt. But I can also hop on the pecan pie bandwagon too!

saturdaynightfever said...

I heart Turtle Brownies!

theyyyguy@yahoo.com

Erica C. said...

I love banana nut bread.
ericacarnes(at)gmail(dot)com

Breanne said...

pecan pie

Karrie Millheim said...

I love nuts in brownies and muffins

Peggy Rydzewski said...

Oatmeal pecan cookies

Elaine said...

My neighbor makes the best blonde brownies with walnuts! Love em!

Krysta Niemczyk said...

I love orzo salad with cranberries and pine nuts.

ltlbitone said...

I love a hot fudge sundae with lots of chopped nuts on top

blew415 said...

cashew chicken!

Tylerpants said...

I enjoy making banana nut muffins with my kids.
tylerpants(at)gmail.com

trichie said...

brownies

kimbo1970 said...

Love walnut brownies.

eddingsfamily@prodigy.net

Kim said...

i LOVE german chocolate cake!
addictedtorodeo at gmail dot com

trixx said...

I love making turtle candy with pecans

Storm, The Psychotic Housewife said...

I love to make Oatmeal, Walnut & Chocolate chip cookies - they are so divine!

stormraven at gmail dot com

cmel said...

I love toasted nuts on a summer salad with fresh blueberries, strawberries, and feta cheese!

Atreau said...

Chocolate chip cookies with pecans.

bev said...

That strawberry dessert looks really good. I love walnuts in just about everything, especially my homemade chocolate fudge. Thanks for this contest.

bbrittbrat1398 said...

I love brownies with nuts.
Brittney House BBrittBrat1398@yahoo.com

Lauren Harmon said...

I love a salad with nuts on it, almonds especially!

Brian E. said...

Thanks for the giveaway…Pistachio-Crusted Chicken with Coconut Chili Ginger Sauce

AEKZ2 said...

I love sweet potato casserole with pecans

h. mcnaron said...

I love to use almonds in my salads.

a marie hj saver

Buddy Garrett said...

Brownies are my favorite.

Valerie Taylor Mabrey said...

love pudding with nut crust
vmkids3 at msn dot com

lilyk said...

I love pistachio ice cream!

non_amos said...

I like chocolate fudge with pecans!

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