Category Archives: pistachios

Pistachio Crusted Roast Beef

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Today is National Pistachio Day. (Yes, there really is such a thing). So to celebrate why not try this pistachio encrusted roast beef?

I always think of a roast as a special occasion meal but in reality it is quite easy to make and doesn’t require nearly as much cooking time as you might think. In many respects it is actually a put it in the oven and forget about it type of meal. But before the meat goes in the oven you do need to a bit of work. I love the crunchy crust the toasted pistachios form on the meat. They seal in the juices and infuse the beef with a subtle salty flavor–they also make for a pretty presentation. To add extra flavor and help the nuts adhere the meat I spread a thin layer of tangy mustard on the meat before adding the nuts. I like Tierenteyn mustard locally made in Ghent, Belgium but a good quality Dijon works well too.

And if you want to continue with the pistachio day why not serve the roast with a side dish of herbed sweet potatoes with feta then complete the meal with chocolate chip, cherry & pistachio crisp cookies? After all, these crunchy little nuts are for more than snacking.

PISTACHIO CRUSTED ROAST BEEF

2 1/2 3 pound round eye roast, trimmed

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup Tierenteyn mustard or your favorite Dijon variety

3/4 cup salted pistachios, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh minced thyme

  • Position the rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat it to 325°F degrees.
  • Sprinkle the salt and pepper on all sides of the roast and place in the center of a shallow roasting pan.
  • Combine the pistachios and thyme in a small bowl.
  • Using a rubber spatula or your hands, evenly coat the exterior of the meat with the mustard.
  • Again using your hands, coat the mustard covered meat with the pistachio mixture pressing the nuts into the sides of the meat so that they adhere well. Some nuts may fall off into the pan but the majority of them should remain on the meat.
  • For medium-rare beef (my preferred level of doneness), roast the beef for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours or until an instant read thermometer reads 130° to 135°F.
  • Remove the roast from the oven, tent the entire pan with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

Serves 4-6

Chocolate Chip, Cherry & Pistachio Crisps

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Who doesn’t love cookies? We certainly do in our house; I can bake dozens and they start to disappear the minute they come out of the oven. Those that last until the next morning get packaged up and brought to school for snack (for the little boy) and to work to be shared during coffee break (for the big boy). As for the types of cookies we like; they are all good. But by far, these crispy cookies, filled with chocolate chips, salty pistachios and sweet and chewy dried cherries, are our all time favorite. The recipe comes from Williams Sonoma and has become my go to cookie for bake sales, casual desserts or just snacking. And they keep and ship well as is evidenced by the dozens upon dozens I used to mail to Glenn during this last deployment.

I think of these cookies as a grown up version of the chocolate chip cookies of our childhoods. They are simultaneously crispy yet chewy and you are guaranteed to get a bite of cherry, chocolate or nut –or all three–in every bite. If you can find shelled pistachios use them since shelling the nuts can be quite time consuming. And has become my habit, I use miniature chocolate chips since I think they produce more chocolaty goodness in every bite!

Chocolate Chip, Cherry & Pistachio Crisps

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons light corn syrup

2 tablespoons milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup miniature chocolate chips

3/4 cup unsalted pistachios, chopped

3/4 cup dried cherries, chopped

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease two baking sheets and set aside.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl and using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat the butter until light and fluffy.
  • Add the brown and white sugars and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl then add the corn syrup, milk and vanilla extract. Beat well.
  • Reduce the speed to low then add in the flour mixture, beating until just combined.
  • Using a rubber spatula fold in the chocolate chips, pistachios and cherries.
  • Using you hands, roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  • Using the bottom of a glass or measuring cup flatten the cookies into discs that are 3/8 of an inch thick.
  • Bake for 4 minutes then turn the baking sheet and continue to bake for an additional 4 to 6 minutes.
  • Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and allow to cool for 3 minutes before moving the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Yields: 4 dozen cookies

Herbed Sweet Potatoes w/ Feta

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Plain baked sweet potatoes are nice but sometimes you just want something a little fancier. When that is the case, try this easy baked sweet potato casserole that is adapted from Williams Sonoma. Because the potatoes are sliced before they are baked, they roast up quickly. The salty feta contrasts nicely with the sweetness of the potatoes while the pistachios add a bit of crunch. So try this dish tonight; I love it served alongside simple grilled steaks but it could easily serve as a substitute for your traditional Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole.
HERBED SWEET POTATOES w/ FETA
4 large sweet potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup pistachios, toasted
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
  • Place the pistachios in a small dry skillet set over medium-high heat. Roast until toasty and fragrant, stirring occasionally to keep from burning. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Peel and slice the sweet potatoes into 1/4 inch pieces. Place them in a 2 quart baking dish, drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Toss well to coat.
  • Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minute.
  • Remove the foil and sprinkle the potatoes with the feta, pistachios and minced thyme.
  • Return the dish to the oven, uncovered, and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese is browned and the potatoes are tender.
  • Remove from the oven and drizzle will the lemon juice.
  • Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6

 

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