Friday, November 12, 2010

Holiday Gift Guide: Go Nuts: Recipes that Really Shell Out by Debbie Harding

Though there is a large bookshelf fairly groaning under the weight of cookbooks in my kitchen, until I started looking closely through Go Nuts: Recipes That Really Shell Out (Touchwood Editions), I didn’t realize I’d never seen a whole book dedicated to nuts before. When you think about it, that’s a bit of a surprise because nuts are so versatile. Go Nuts is testimony to that, including recipes suitable for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. In her first cookbook, Harding includes recipes for nut-based soups, sandwiches, appetizers, salads, entrees and side dishes. Under Harding’s careful care, one could, quite easily, incorporate nuts into every meal, every day. Forever.

In some cases, nuts make an elegant addition to a recipe really based in other ingredients. For example, a New Potato Salad with Red Onion and Hazelnuts offers a new and interesting take on an old standby. Green Beans with Lemons and Almonds contributes an easy dimension to something that can be very everyday. In many of the recipes, however, nuts are the main event. The Best Ever Veggie Burgers are a great example of this, as well as a terrific use of many kinds of nuts. The recipe calls for sunflower seeds plus your choice of almonds, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts or pistachios. I used a mix of almonds and hazelnuts, as that's what I had on hand the results were terrific: quite simple and even better than anticipated.

Another very simple recipes that’s all about the nuts are the Glazed Balsamic Almonds. Basic ingredients and slow baking make for some of the tastiest candied nuts you’ll ever encounter. (This one will be terrific for the holidays! A simple seasonal treat.)

Another favorite: Macadamia Madeira Pork Medallions are slightly more complicated but some of the other recipes, but incredibly elegant and easy once it was all broken down. It would be tough to go wrong with this one for a small dinner party.

My favorite, though, is ridiculously simple: Brie and Walnut Stuffed Figs is almost as easy as it sounds: think honey, brandy and walnut pieces stuffed inside brown figs and baked briefly. So simple. So good.

All in all, Go Nuts: Recipes That Really Shell Out is a winner. Clear instructions, versatile recipes and a simple, uncluttered design. I anticipate this is one I’ll return to often for a nut-enhanced recipes over a wide-swath of my table.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is not a coffee table book. This cookbook is full of so many interesting recipes that you will use often. I love the easy to follow instructions and the versatililty of nuts. I never really thought of how they can be used in so many different meals; from breakfast,lunch, dinner and right through to desserts of course.
Hope everyone enjoys it as much as I am. This will definetly be on a must give gift for my friends and family.

Saturday, November 20, 2010 at 7:28:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Bridal Events Marketing Group said...

This is a sure winner! Every recipe has mouth watering appeal and there is such a variety. I have two that I am going to try right away.

Although I wasn't in the "taste kitchen" I have enjoyed Debbie's culinary expertise for years. Every meal is an experience.

Congratulations on a job well done. This sure will help with the Christmas gift list this year.

Dennis Eyjolfsson

Sunday, November 21, 2010 at 4:23:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Juanita Stein said...

It is a practical, tasty, and fun approach to cooking with nuts. Until recently I thought I was allergic to nuts and now that I know I'm not, I'm planning to try as many recipes as I can! This book will make a wonderful addition to every kitchen's cookbook shelf...and it probably will spend more time open on your kitchen counter than sitting on your shelf.

Monday, November 22, 2010 at 12:39:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Robert van der Linden said...

This is a book for cooks, not librarians - buy a second one if you want to keep it unruffled for posterity. Attractive, well laid out, with diverse and delicious recipes, this book is so useful, you'll wonder how you ever got through a holiday season with out it.
Got to go, this morning I'm try the breakfast cookies....

Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 7:27:00 AM PST  

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