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Torta de Santiago
Desserts

Torta de Santiago

Torta de Santiago is an almond cake dating back to the Middle Ages from the northwest part of Spain. It can be easily identified by its signature powdered sugar cross of St. James that adorns it’s top.

Pear-Almond Tart
Desserts

Pear-Almond Tart

The filling for this Pear-Almond Tart is a smooth and delicious almond cream known as a Frangipane. It is often used as a filling for pastries like puff pastry and in tarts with fresh fruit. In Provence, I make the creamy filling with pistachios instead of almonds and I use fresh apricots in place of the pears. Any nut can be used in the filling and fresh fruit can range from apples and cherries to plums and fresh raspberries.

Black Pepper Almonds
Hors d’Oeuvres

Black Pepper Almonds

These spicy almonds are perfect at cocktail parties and are very addicting. The brown sugar gives a hint of sweetness, just enough to offset the heat from the black pepper. Whole nuts of any kind can be substituted for the almonds, whether you use one type of nut or a selection of various whole nuts. I often make these spicy almonds just before the holidays, package them up in cellophane bags and give them away as Christmas presents.

Almond and Apricot Biscotti
Cookies

Almond and Apricot Biscotti

This recipe for Biscotti was given to me by a friend, Lisa, from the Chicago area. She used to send them as holiday gifts and was nice enough to share the recipe with me for my first cookbook. The combination of almonds, dried apricots, white chocolate and Grand Marnier makes for an unforgettable treat.

Beets in Romesco Sauce
Appetizers

Beets in Romesco Sauce

Growing up I only remember eating canned beets, but I liked them from an early age. When I had my first fresh beet, I was in heaven. Cooked beets just heated up with butter, coarse salt and black pepper is on my favorites list. I usually cut off the stems and leaves, wrap them in foil, and roast (steam) them in the oven until tender. Romesco sauce is a Spanish sauce made from tomatoes, chilies and nuts and is amazing with roasted vegetables, fish, chicken…and come to think of it, most everything.

Almond-Ricotta Semifreddo
Desserts

Almond-Ricotta Semifreddo

Semifreddo, in Italian, translates to “partially frozen.” It has a lighter texture, and is more like a frozen mousse than ice cream due to the incorporation of lots of air in its preparation. I make several versions of this classical Italian dessert by adding different ingredients for various flavor and texture combinations. Some of my favorite include: Pistachio, Limoncello, Raspberry, Chocolate-Hazelnut and of course this one made with Ricotta and Almond praline.