Some things are obviously going to be popular. Pictures of animals holding hands/playing sports/wearing clothes. Movies with George Clooney/Brad Pitt/Matt Damon and restaurants with Keith McNally/cocktails/bright young things. Sweets involving salt/caramel/nuts are also a surefire win, and I decided to play to the crowd.
'cashews' on Serious Eats
Buttery shortbread is topped with salted cashews and gooey caramel. Warning: Bet you can't have just one.
When I'm saying to myself, "What would my wife want for dinner?," the answer, more often than not, is chickpeas. And I'm not talking fancy, soaked overnight, simmered in flavorful liquid, carefully cooked chickpeas; I'm talking chickpeas drained out of a can and used as the base for a quick dish. This 30-minute curry is intense with garam masala and ginger, cooled by coconut milk and ground toasted cashews.
Perhaps the most unusual curry in S.H. Fernando Jr.'s guide to Sri Lankan cuisine, Rice & Curry, is made of an ingredient more often found in a bowl of mixed nuts than in a steamy pot of coconut milk and chiles. Cashew Nut Curry is a wonderfully rich vegetarian curry, with soft, fatty cashews floating in creamy coconut milk spiced with curry leaves, lemongrass, coriander, and just enough chile heat.
Casseroles are are a hodgepodge of ingredients—everything's fair game to get baked in that dish. But tuna with cashews? I had to taste it to believe it.
There are many different variations of this recipe. Where I added cannellini beans, some people use water chestnuts or chopped green pepper. You can also try cream of celery soup instead of cream of mushroom. Some people even use broken ramen noodle bits instead of chow mein noodles.
The reason this French dessert is surfacing here under a Spanish alias is that islas flotantes are a served in many homes and restaurants around Latin America. The construction is the same as in their land of provenance: small mounds of feathery meringues float swanlike in a still, chilled pool of crème anglaise threaded with amber caramel sauce.
These Cashew Polvorones, a recipe from Kir Rodriguez of the French Culinary Institute include finely ground cashews into sweet, crumbly-chewy little shortbread cookies. Once baked and coated with a heavy dusting of confectioners' sugar, you bite into the polvorone and that sweet richness from the cashews really does come through, making us wonder why there aren't more cashew cookies out there.
There are countless variations on Polvorones all over Spain and Latin America, but we especially love this version made with rich, finely ground cashews.
Acorn squash offers a delicious combination of rich and nutty flavors that work really well in a dessert.
Succulent oven roasted chicken, juicy red grapes, crunchy cashews and celery dressed in a delicately spiced curry dressing. This is a welcome change from ordinary chicken salad, which is all too often dry and bland. Serve it for a fall picnic while the weather's still warm or over greens for a light dinner.
Looking for a vegan or non-dairy substitute for whipped cream? Forget about all that artificial stuff. It turns out that cashews do the trick just fine! I had been hearing about this stuff for years. The internet is awash with different recipes and techniques, but after testing a bunch, here's the winner.
I prepared this recipe using a traditional home blender. After 2 to 3 minutes of blending the texture was fairly smooth with hardly any grit. A heavy duty or professional blender (like a Vitamix) will produce an even smoother texture and do it in a little less time as well.
Roasted nuts are a cinch to prepare and relatively inexpensive. Scooped into bags and tied with pretty ribbons, they make lovely gifts. Here are recipes for three favorites: Maple-Rosemary-Bourbon Pecans, Chili Lime Peanuts, and Curried Cashews.
Roasting these cashews twice ensures that they are toasty and crisp. The spicy curry, cumin, and cayenne are complimented perfectly by the caramelized brown sugar and just a hint of butter. Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens...
Rice Krispies were rather dull to me. I preferred cereals with animal cartoon spokespersons like the Trix Rabbit. I was suspicious of the strange, creepy little men named Snap, Crackle, and Pop. But my new friend assured me not to worry—she could make the bland cereal taste good. She heated a bag full of puffy marshmallows and a bowl of neon yellow oleo, and stirred in the crackling cereal, measuring as if by memory.
"Layering" technique adapted from Cookie Madness...
[Photograph: Mary Pagones]...
Cashews bring back memories of my bar mitzvah and the unique candy my mother had commissioned for the party. Who knew the intricacy of the sweets were a clue to the tedious nature of the cashew harvest?
[Flickr: Spy On Pea] Yesterday, our new nut columnist Lee Zalben wrote about Kung Pao chicken, exploring the use of nuts in this and so many other Chinese dishes. He casually mentioned the peanuts in his Kung Pao dish, which set off a mini debate. What about cashews? Or are peanuts more common? We tweeted and Facebooked the question, and the consensus seems to be with peanuts. "traditionally, only peanuts are used" (@kattebelletje) "Peanuts or no nuts. Never cashews." (@GarySoup) "peanuts for sure, says the girl who grew up in a Chinese restaurant" (@aliciac) Chinese cuisine mystery-solver Jenny 8. Lee directed us to this New York Times piece by Howard W. French from 2005. Apparently in south-central China, the...