Cook the Books! A Cookbook Challenge!

So you ask what is Cook the Books?  It is a year-long challenge of cookbooks, each month for the next 12 months focuses on 12 different cookbooks.  The idea was dreamed up by two bloggers Grow & Resist and Oh, Briggsy, way to go girls!   This is a way for me to explore 12 new cookbooks throughout the year, make new recipes and give a Pacific Northwest twist to the recipes I make.  Towards the end of each month you will come along with me in my blog and explore a new cookbook.

The book for the January challenge is “Around My French Table” by Dorie Greenspan.  I bought the digital version and downloaded a copy to my computer and started exploring the book.  At first I thought french cooking would not be something I would do.  But as I read the recipes and saw the use of  fresh vegetables, fruits and salmon in many of the recipes I realized that this is what cooking Fresh From Oregon is all about.  I bookmarked the recipes I wanted to make and thought about how to give them the Fresh From Oregon taste.  The first thing I started with was the “Sweet & Spicy Cocktail Nuts” and to give it an Oregon flavor I used hazelnuts.  Enjoy the nuts below with your favorite drink.  I even added them to my salad for dinner last night!

Sweet & Spicy Hazelnuts2013.01.21@12.21.04

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 /2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch cayenne pepper or 1/4 teaspoon if you like them spicy

1 large egg white

2 cups Hazelnuts

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.  I placed a piece of parchment paper on the baking sheet for the nuts so I could clean easily when done.

In a small bowl mix together the sugar and spices.  Use a fork and a medium size bowl and beat the egg for about 30 seconds to get it a little foamy.  To give it that Fresh From Oregon taste I used hazelnuts.  Stir the hazelnuts to coat them with the egg whites,  then add the sugar and spice mixture and mix until all the hazelnuts are coated.  I thought they would be spicier so if you want a real kick add at least 1/4 teaspoon of the cayenne pepper.   I wanted the easy way out so I poured the mixture on the parchment paper and separated them after they cooled. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the hazelnuts are browned and the coating is not sticky anymore.  Watch the last 5 minutes, they really start to cook and brown quickly.  I cooled for 15 minutes and just broke apart each of the nuts.

Adapted from: Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan

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