Orly from Yumivore.com had the brilliant idea of a cooking group and she just happens to be in my area – Lucky me! She hosts the monthly “cook-up” and announces the theme. This time it was “Boozy March: Cooking with alcohol.” We signed up ahead of time for a dish or course so there wouldn’t be too many of one thing. I volunteered to make a salad and originally thought I’d dress it with a champagne vinaigrette. But I soon realized that usually that is made with champagne vinegar rather than champagne itself. doh!
My farm box and neighborhood has been overflowing with Meyer lemons, so I decided to use the dressing recipe from White on Rice Couple but omitted the mayo. I also got a fennel bulb in my CSA box and planned to add that to the spring mix of greens. When I found the recipe for the Bourbon Maple Toasted Pistachios, I knew it would be a perfect idea to mix these Mediterranean flavors.
I altered the recipe just a little. Here’s how I did it:
1 8-ounce bag shelled pistachios (Trader Joe’s carries them roasted but unsalted)
1.5 Tablespoons bourbon
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
.5 teaspoon packed light brown sugar
.5 teaspoon turbinado sugar
.25 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 250°F and line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper or use a silpat mat.
In a medium bowl, combine bourbon, maple syrup and brown sugar together and toss well.
Arrange the pistachios in a single layer on the parchment-lined jelly roll pan and toast the nuts for about 15 minutes. I gave them a quick stir about half way through.
Remove them from the oven and turn off the heat. Allow the nuts to cool slightly then toss them in a dry bowl with the salt and turbinado sugar. This breaks up the sticky maple syrup. Lay them out on the pan again and put them back in the oven to cool down with the oven.
Try not to eat them all before you sprinkle them on a salad.
I used a mandoline to shave a small fennel bulb into a mix of greens. As I mentioned above, I tossed the greens with the dressing recipe from White on Rice Couple(omitting the mayo). Lastly, I sprinkled the nuts on top.
note: I think the nuts could have been a little crunchier. Next time I might try to find raw pistachio meats instead of the already roasted ones.
Here was the menu from the whole evening:
Sake steamed clams – by Beth from OMG Yummy : who has found the key to tasty clams.
Stuffed mushrooms soaked in wine – by Orly from Yumivore
This was the second Cook-up group meeting. I couldn’t make the first one with the olive oil theme but all the recipes are in a recap on yumivore.