Magazine article Sunset

Another Way to Skin a Nut

Magazine article Sunset

Another Way to Skin a Nut

Article excerpt

I've noticed packaged roasted skinned hazelnuts from Oregon at the market of late. But they aren't plentiful everywhere yet, so it's still useful to know how to skin the nuts. You can toast hazelnuts to loosen most of the brown papery, slightly bitter skin. But a more efficient process is to blanch the nuts with baking soda to soften the skin so it slips off easily. The downside is that water also softens the nuts, so you still need to toast them. When they're crisp, season them for a handy appetizer.

1. To blanch: In a 2- to 3-quart pan over high heat, bring 4 cups water and 1 tablespoon baking soda to a boil. Add up to 4 cups hazelnuts. Cook 3 minutes.

2. Drain nuts, immerse in cold water, and rub between your hands to loosen most of the skins. Drain again and spread nuts on a towel to dry. Scrape off any clinging skin with the tip of a small, sharp knife. …

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