Five Ways to Use…Hazelnuts
We all know about the health benefit of eating nuts, and hazelnuts are no exception. Packed with vitamins B and E, they’re good for your heart and help reduce the risk of cancer. Most commonly found in desserts and confectionery, their texture also adds a delicious crunch to a host of savoury dishes too.
We set the triumphant chef lecturer of the Country Range Student Chef Challenge 2018 another challenge – to go ‘nuts’ in the kitchen come up with five ingenious ways of using them.
Here, Robbie Phillips, who mentored the talented trio (Lee Christie, Jordan McKenzie and Erin Sweeney) from City of Glasgow College to success, shows us more of his winning ways…
1. Hazelnut Vinaigrette
A really simple recipe combining, mustard, cider vinegar and extra virgin rapeseed oil with toasted, crushed hazelnuts and soft herbs. The team used it in the final of the Country Range Student Chef Challenge with their smoked, spiced venison and beetroot starter. It has texture, acidity and a beautiful toasted note that’s perfect with game.
I always have some hazelnut and toasted oat honey granola made up in my store cupboard. Just toast porridge oats and hazelnuts until they’re golden then add honey, dried fruit and a pinch of salt and roast for a further few minutes. Perfect with natural yoghurt and fresh berries at breakfast time or on top of stewed apples for a different take on crumble. Add a little ground coriander if you’re feeling adventurous!
3. Hazelnut and Coffee Dark Chocolate Brownie
Hazelnuts add a beautiful crunch to traditional brownies. The addition of coffee with dark chocolate gives it a slightly bitter flavour that balances sweetness well. Serve with caramelised banana, yoghurt sorbet and lightly salted hazelnut for a grown-up dessert.
4. Plaice with Hazelnut Crust
Mix crushed hazelnuts with some panko breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley, lemon zest and butter. You can use this crust to cover delice of plaice in advance and bake them to order. Celebrate Spring by serving with Jersey Royal potatoes, asparagus and crab bisque.
5. Spiced Hazelnuts
Sweet, salty, spicy hazelnuts and sunflower seeds make a great snack. You can even add them to a salad or mix them with roasted vegetables as a quick way to add texture and flavour to a dish. Roast the nuts and seeds in a hot oven with butter and sea salt then add in sugar, cayenne pepper and ground cumin. Put them back in the oven until they’re caramelised and aromatic.
About Robbie Phillips
Robbie became a professional cookery lecturer at City of Glasgow College after working in Glasgow West End’s Stravaigin, holder of 2 AA Rosettes and a Michelin Bib Gourmand. Since then he has completed a BA Professional Development in Tertiary Education through Dundee University. It’s the third time Robbie has mentored a team in The Country Range Student Chef Challenge and is immensely proud of their win!