Macadamia Nut Tips And Hints
Macadamia nuts can be substituted for other nuts measure for measure in most recipes and vice versa.
Some recipes call for ground macadamia nuts. Simply put them in a food processor and pulse until desired consistency is achieved. Beware over-processing — you’ll end up with nut butter.
If you do over-process, macadamia nut butter is delicious as a spread. Add a touch of vegetable oil and a bit of honey for smoothness and added flavor.
Ground macadamia nuts can be used as a filler and flavor enhancer in ground meat, poultry and seafood dishes.
Use ground nuts in pastry dough or sprinkle on the bottom of pie shells for a delightful change of taste.
Toasting nuts before adding to the recipe will yield a brighter flavor.
Always let toasted nuts cool down before grinding or chopping to prevent them from becoming oily or pasty in texture.
To toast: Spread nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place in 350-degree F. oven. Toast until golden, about 12 to 15 minutes. When using a toaster oven, cut the time in half.
It’s best to toast only what you need at the time as toasted nuts will not store as well as raw nuts.
Macadamia Nuts Selection And Storage
Macadamia nut selection
The shelled macadamia nuts are about the size of a marble and have a rich, sweet, delicate, buttery flavor enjoyed in both desserts and savory dishes.
Since the shell is so difficult to crack (much like blackwalnuts), you’ll find them in the market always shelled, either raw or roasted, salted or unsalted.
Due to the labor involved in shelling the nuts and the tropical environment required to grow them, macadamias were traditionally more expensive than other nuts. Prices have dropped dramatically in the past twenty years due to new strains with softer shells and expanded production. They are readily available in the nut section of most all general grocery stores.
Macadamia nut storage
Macadamia nuts have a very high fat content and must be stored carefully to avoid rancidity. The nuts should be light in color. They will darken with age as the inherent oil turns rancid.
Vacuum-packed nuts are the best choice for the freshest product. Refrigerate unopened nuts in an airtight container up to six months or freeze up to a year. Once opened, refrigerate and use macadamia nuts within two months.
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