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ALMOND FACTS


Almonds can be part of a healthy diet.  Although they are high in fat, it is approximately 67% monounsaturated fat, the type prevalent in olive oil.  Studies have shown that people who eat nuts on a regular basis have a lower risk of heart attack or death from coronary artery disease.  Almonds also contain significant amounts of fiber, vitamin E, folate, calcium and other vitamins and minerals.

The almond tree produces the oldest and most widely grown of all the world's nut crops.  The dry, leathery almond fruit surrounds a seed or kernel - the almond nut - which is harvested when the fruit dries and splits open.  Of the two major types of almonds grown, the sweet almond, is cultivated for its edible nut.

NUTRITIONAL INFO

RECIPES

Roasted Sweet Garlic and Almond Soup
-- Created by Jamie Oliver

Ingredients
10 to 12 cloves garlic
2 heaped cups blanched almonds
5 oz. (4 to 5 slices) sourdough bread, crusts removed
1 cup low-fat milk
1 to 2 cups chicken stock or water
A drizzle of sherry vinegar
A drizzle of Tuscan extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
A small bunch of green grapes, quartered
A few sprigs of fresh marjoram, chopped

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Bake the garlic cloves for about 20 minutes or until soft. Break the bread into smaller pieces drizzle and soak with the milk.

Using a food processor blend the almonds until good and fine and have almost stuck to the side of the bowl.

Throw in the soaked bread and the soft inside of the roasted garlic, add a little water and blend. When you have a fine puree add in gradually enough water to make a thickish soup consistency.

Finish by seasoning with the sherry vinegar, salt and pepper and a good drizzle of olive oil.

You can garnish with some quartered green grapes mixed with chopped marjoram on top.

Servings: 4

 

Roasted Almonds with Coriander, Chili and Olive Oil
-- Created by Jamie Oliver

Ingredients
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups blanched almonds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
1 to 3 small dried red chili peppers
2 generous pinches of sea salt

Directions

Add the olive oil and almonds to a hot saute pan. Saute and kind of toast the almonds until golden brown, shaking the pan regularly to color them evenly and accentuate their nutty flavor. Crumble in the chili and coriander to taste and add the sea salt. Toss over and serve hot on a large plate.

Servings: 8

 

Pan Roasted Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Smashed Almonds, Mascarpone and Lemon
-- Created by Jamie Oliver

Ingredients
4 large boneless chicken breasts – free range, skin on
1/2 cup of Roasted Almonds with Coriander, Chili and Olive Oil – see recipe above
6 large heaped tablespoons of mascarpone cheese
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup Chardonnay
Olive oil
Sea salt and ground black pepper
2 bulbs of fennel
1 lb fresh spinach
salt and pepper

Directions

Blend in a food processor or in a pestle and mortar the roasted almonds until roughly smashed. Then add the tablespoons of mascarpone, lemon zest and juice. Blend and season.

Working from one side of the chicken breast slip your fingers in-between the skin and the flesh, being careful not to completely remove the skin. Push one good spoonful of the almond-mascarpone paste in the gap of each breast then press the skin firmly back, saving any left over paste.

Take a hot non stick pan, drizzle it with a little olive oil and place the breasts skin side down. After a minute when lightly golden turn to seal the other side. (If you don’t have a pan with a metal handle transfer to a roasting tray at this point.) Place in the pre-heated oven 425ºF for around 10 minutes until cooked.

Meanwhile cut the fennel in half lengthwise, then into thin slices. Throw into a medium hot pan with a little olive oil and seasoning, stir in a couple of tablespoons of water. Cover and leave to cook slowly – about 5 to 10 minutes.

When the chicken is cooked remove to a warm plate and rest for 5 minutes, whilst you move the pan or tray back on the heat and add the glass of wine and stock, allow to cook down to almost nothing, not forgetting to scrape the pan bottom for all its goodness. Finish the sauce by stirring in the rest of the mascarpone and any remaining paste, keep on the heat so it continues to simmer until it coats the back of a spoon. Season to taste.

By this point the fennel should be just cooked season and chuck in the spinach, leave to wilt down . Serve the chicken with the fennel and spinach, drizzle the sauce over and around the chicken. Try with a nice glass of Chardonnay.

Servings: 4

 

Baked Mussels with Almond Breadcrumb Stuffing
From Chef Loretta Keller
Bizou Restaurant
San Francisco, CA

 
Almond Breadcrumb Stuffing
Ingredient Quantity
Butter, softened 6 ounces
Minced garlic 6 cloves
Chopped fresh parsley leaves 1 ounce
Dried breadcrumbs 6 ounces
Dry white wine 3/4 cup
Natural sliced almonds, toasted, finely chopped 1 pound
Salt 2 teaspoons
Pepper 1 teaspoon

Mussels, beards removed, washed

12 pounds (about 360 mussels)

Lemon juice

1 1/2 cups

Method: To make Almond Breadcrumb Stuffing: In bowl, combine butter, garlic and parsley; set aside. Sprinkle breadcrumbs with wine; mix into the butter mixture until well combined. Stir in almonds until well mixed. Season with salt and pepper; set aside. Makes 4 1/2 cups

To make mussels: Arrange mussels in rondo. Cover; cook over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes or until mussel shells pop open, shaking pan occasionally. As mussels cook, remove from pan and cool. Discard any shellfish that do not open. Remove mussels from their shells; returning each mussel onto shell half. Cover; chill until service.
Heat oven to 425°F. For each serving, to order: arrange 15 mussels on baking sheet. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon Almond Breadcrumb Stuffing onto each mussel. Bake 5 to 6 minutes or until hot. Plate and drizzle with 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

 

 

Quick Saute of Zucchini with Toasted Almonds and Pecorino
Chef Jimmy Bradley
The Red Cat
New York, NY

 

Ingredient Quantity
Olive Oil 1 1/2 cups
Natural sliced almonds 1 pound, 8 ounces
Zucchini, julienned 12 pounds
Salt As needed
Pepper As needed
Shaved Pecorino Romano cheese 12 ounces

Method: For each serving, to order: In skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat until hot. Add 1 ounce (1/4 cup) almonds; saute until golden brown. Add 8 ounces zucchini; saute 30 seconds or until crisp-tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mound on appetizer plate. Garnish with 1/2 ounce Pecorino Romano.
 

 

Spinach and Apricot Filled Almond Tarts
From Chef James Mazzio
Triana Restaurant
Boulder, CO

 

Ingredient Quantity
Almond Tart Shells
Butter 1 lb., 8 oz.
Granulated sugar 9 ounces
Large eggs 5
Almond extract 2 Tbsp.
All-purpose flour 1 lb., 7 oz.
Natural sliced almonds, finely chopped 1 lb., 4oz.
Salt 2 teaspoons
Spinach Filling
Vegetable or olive oil 1/4 cup
Spinach, stems removed and washed 4 lbs.
Finely chopped garlic 2 Tbsp.
Chopped dried apricots or dried figs 14 oz.
Butter 3 oz.
Natural sliced almonds, toasted 5 ounces

Method: Heat oven to 375ºF. To make Almond Tart Shells: In mixer bowl, beat butter and sugar 3 to 4 minutes or until creamy. Add eggs and almond extract; beat 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until light and creamy. In another bowl, combine flour, almonds and salt; mix well. Gently fold flour mixture into butter mixture. Do not overmix. Form dough into 2 (12 x 2-inch) rolls. Wrap tightly; chill 1 hour. Cut each roll of dough into 12 (3-ounce) slices. Press 1 slice into each of twenty-four 4 1/2-inch tart pans with removable bottoms. Arrange pans on baking sheets. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until shells are golden brown and firm to the touch. Cool on wire racks. Carefully unmold. Makes 24 tart shells

To make Spinach Filling: In rondo, heat oil until hot. Add spinach and garlic; sauté until spinach is wilted. Place spinach mixture in strainer; strain well reserving 2 cups liquid. Coarsely chop spinach and place in bowl with apricots; mix well. Set aside. Place reserved spinach liquid in saucepan. Reduce to 1 cup; stir in butter and cook until mixture is slightly thickened. Stir into spinach. Cover; chill. Makes 8 cups
For each serving, to order: Place 1 Almond Tart Shell on baking sheet. Spread 1/3 cup Spinach Filling in shell. Bake 3 to 5 minutes or until hot. Plate and sprinkle 1 tablespoon almonds on top.

 

 

Rolled Lamb Shoulder with Almond and Olive Purée
Chef Gerald Hirigoyen
Pastis, San Francisco CA

 

Ingredient Quantity
Olive Purée
Pitted Nicoise olives 5 oz.
Anchovy fillets 2 oz.
Olive oil 1/3 cup
Fresh parsley leaves 1/4 cup
Lemon juice 2 Tbsp.
Lamb Roasts
Salt 3 Tbsp.
Cayenne pepper 1 Tbsp.
White pepper 1/2 to 1 Tbsp.
Boned lamb shoulder, fat trimmed 3 (4 lbs. each)
Blanched slivered almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped 9 oz.
Olive oil 1 1/2 cups
Onions, cut into wedges 1 lb., 14 oz.
Peeled garlic cloves 15 oz.
Dry white wine 3 (725ml) bottles
Vegetable stock or broth 1 pint, 1 cup

Method: To make Olive Puree: In food processor, process all ingredients until smooth. Cover; set aside. Makes 1 cup

Heat oven(s) to 425° F. For Lamb Roasts: In small bowl, combine salt, cayenne pepper and white pepper; set aside. On clean work surface, lay each roast flat with cut sides on top; rub pepper mixture evenly onto top surface of each roast. On each roast top surface, spread 1/3 cup Olive Puree and sprinkle 3 ounces almonds. Beginning with long ends, roll up roasts. Secure each with kitchen twine, tying crosswise and lengthwise; set aside. In each of 3 shallow roasting pans over high heat, heat 1/2 cup olive oil. Add 1 roast to each pan and brown on all sides. Add 10 ounces onions and 5 ounces garlic to each pan. Place pans in oven(s) and cook 15 minutes. Turn roasts over and add 1 bottle of wine to each pan. Cook 45 minutes longer, basting every 15 minutes. Add 1 cup vegetable stock to each pan; cook 15 minutes longer or until internal temperature is 160°F. Remove roasts from pans and let rest on cutting board 20 minutes, covered with foil.

Pan Gravy

To make Pan Gravy: Strain pan juices from roasting pans; discarding vegetables. Transfer pan juices to saucepan; reduce to 6 cups. Skim any visible fat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover; keep warm. Makes 6 cups

For each serving, to order: Arrange 1 6-ounces slice lamb roast on plate. Spoon 1/4 cup sauce and 1 tablespoon almonds around lamb.

 

Pumpkin Tortelloni with Almonds in Brown Butter Sage Sauce
Chef Carlo Cavallo,
Sonoma Meritage
Sonoma, CA

 

Pumpkin Tortelloni
Ingredient Quantity
Solid Pack Pumpkin 1 lb., 10 oz.
Natural sliced almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped 6 oz.
Shredded Parmesan cheese 5 ounces
Salt 1 1/2 teaspoons
Pepper 1 1/2 teaspoons
Fresh pasta sheets, cut into 2 1/2-inch squares About 2 lbs, 1 1/2 oz.
Eggs, beaten with 1/4 cup water 2
Sage Butter
Unsalted butter 1 lb., 8 ounces
Fresh sage leaves 1 1/2 ounces
Water 2 tablespoons
Natural sliced almonds, toasted 12 ounces
Shredded Parmesan cheese 10 ounces


Method:
To make Pumpkin Tortelloni: In bowl, combine pumpkin, almonds and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper; set aside. For each tortelloni, brush top of 1 square with egg wash. Place 1 teaspoon pumpkin mixture onto center. Fold pasta diagonally in half to form a triangle; seal edges, pressing to remove any air pockets. Pull together two opposite corners to overlap, pressing to seal. Place tortelloni on floured sheet pans; cover and chill..

Sage Butter: In saucepan, heat butter and sage over medium-high heat until butter begins to brown and sage is crisp. Keep warm. Makes 3 cups.

For each serving, to order:: Cook 8 tortelloni in boiling salted water 1 to 2 minutes or until al dente. (Tortelloni will float when almost done.) Remove tortelloni; drain and plate. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons Sage Butter, allowing 2 to 3 sage leaves per serving. Garnish with 2 tablespoons almonds and 2 tablespoons Parmesan.

Note: One pound, 10 ounces cooked and puréed butternut squash may be substituted for pumpkin; adjust seasonings as necessary. Proceed as directed.

 

Almond Pound Cake with Plums and Cardamom Ice Cream
Chef Gabrielle Hamilton
Prune Restaurant
New York, NY

 

Almond Pound Cake
Ingredient Quantity
Unsalted butter 1 pound
Granulated sugar 1 pound, 3 ounces
Large eggs 10
Almond extract 2 teaspoons
All-purpose flour 9 ounces
Yellow Cornmeal 5 ounces
Natural sliced almonds, toasted, finely chopped 5 ounces
Salt 1/2 teaspoon
Cardamom Ice Cream
Heavy cream 1 quart, 1 pint
Milk 1 quart, 1 pint
Granulated sugar, divided 10 1/2 ounces
Cardamom pods 1 1/12 ounces
Large egg yolks 16
Plum Sauce
Sliced fresh plums 6 pounds
Granulated sugar 1 pound, 5 ounces
Water 1 pint, 1 cup
Natural sliced almonds, toasted As needed

Method:

Almond Pound Cake
To make Almond Pound Cake: Heat oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease and flour two 9 1/2 X 5 1/2-inch baking pans; set aside.

In mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each. Mix in almond extract. In another bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, almonds and salt. On low speed, add dry ingredients, mixing just until blended.

Portion batter evenly into prepared pans; bake 55 to 60 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes; invert onto rack to cool completely. Cut each loaf into 24 thin slices. Makes 48 slices.

Cardamom Ice Cream
To make Cardamom Ice Cream: In saucepan, bring cream, milk, 7 ounces sugar and cardamom to a simmer. Remove from heat; let stand 1/2 hour. Strain to remove cardamom; return cream mixture to pan. Heat until hot but not boiling.

In bowl, whisk together egg yolks and 3 1/2 ounces sugar until blended. Gradually whisk in hot cream mixture; return to pan. Cook over medium heat until mixture reaches 185ºF, stirring contantly. Strain. Cover; refridgerate 3 hours or until cold.

Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. Makes 12 cups.

Plum Sauce
For each serving, to order: Arrange 2 Almond Pound Cake slices on serving plate; set aside. In nonstick skillet, dry saute 4 ounces plums and 2 tablespoons sugar over medium-high heat until sugar begins to caramelize. Add 2 tablespoons water; cook just until syrup forms; spoon over slices. Garnish with 4 ounces Cardamom Ice Cream and sliced toasted almonds.

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