Notice a theme there? Nuts! I got a new nutcracker from Target the other day and had to try him out. We have loads of squirrels around here although they are gray, not black. Still I couldn’t resist the cuteness of having this little guy around to do my nut cracking chores. When I was younger we used to go to the Georgia State Farmers Market and buy huge 50 pound bags of pecans. Then my dad would sit in front of the tv watching football and meticulously crack the nuts so we could have them for baking and snacking. He tried several different kinds of nutcrackers but mostly he would just use the old silver v-shaped hand nutcracker.
So with my new nutcracker, I thought I might make some recipes that used two of my favorite nuts – pecans and walnuts. I am notorious for not measuring my ingredients so here is the best approximation of what I made for dinner. Feel free to adjust as necessary.
Pecan Crusted Tilapia
4 tilapia filets
1/2 cup half and half
2 tablespoons water
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper
In a shallow pan, whisk together the eggs, cream, and water. In another shallow pan, mix together the flour, pecans and seasonings. Dip the filets in the egg mixture, and then the flour mixture. Repeat so that you have dipped twice in each pan. Coat the remaining filets in the same way. Fry in olive oil till fish is tender and flaky about 5 minutes on each side depending upon thickness of fish.
Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and a Mustard Cream Sauce
1/2 pound Brussels sprouts
1 apple, cored, sliced and quartered
2/3 cup English walnuts
2 tablespoons stone ground mustard
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 cup half and half
1 tablespoon butter
Trim the Brussels sprouts and then cut into quarters. Melt the butter and olive oil in a skillet; add the sprouts. Cook until desired tenderness. Turn the heat down and add the apples and walnuts to warm through. In a small bowl, mix together the cream, mustard and brown sugar. Add to the sprouts stirring to distribute the mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
It was a really good meal that seemed to please everyone including the offspring who won’t eat beef or chicken, and the offspring who won’t eat many vegetables, and the mother who only likes soft vegetables and the author of this post who doesn’t care much for fish but liked it anyway because of the pecans.