Nuts 101: Easy Chopping Technique

Cooking Show
June 30, 2011

Want to know how to keep pecans, peanuts, almonds, and pine nuts from scooting around the counter when chop-chopping? Try this technique.

Chopping Nuts
iStock Photo
http://pgoarelish2.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/istock_000007229178xsmall.jpg

In this excerpt from my weekely Chef in Your Pocket Facebook Q&A, Relish fan and Whoopie Pie diva Judi Questel needed an easy way to chop nuts without sending them flying across the kitchen!

Q: Chopping nuts can be unwieldy—they shoot across the counter—and food processors can chop them so fast, they are ground too fine or are inconsistent in size. To help people in this predicament, what's your favorite method/tricks for hand-chopping nuts?

A: You know, there are certainly lots of techniques, but here's what I've done for as long as I can remember:

  1. Place the nuts in a heavy-duty freezer bag. (I always use the Ziploc freezer bags for this and rarely ever have one pop.)
  2. Visualize anything you've recently been frustrated about. Now's a good time to get it out.
  3. Place the bag on a hard, flat surface and smooth the nuts into an even layer. Now, use a rolling pin or other similar object to crush them. It'll take a few whacks, depending on how fine you want the end product to be.
  4. Pour the crushed into a colander or mesh sieve to allow the super-fine dust to fall away.

That's it! Oh, one last thing: I always recommend toasting nuts in a dry pan or in the oven before crushing. It'll make the flavor so much bigger and richer!

—By Brian Morris, Chef in Your Pocket

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