By Request

By Betty Shimabukuro

Wednesday, May 2, 2001

Nuts add richness
to winning fish and
sausage recipes

Salmon prepared with a macadamia-nut crust provides a double-dose of richness, but if your waistline can handle it -- why not?

A request for this combination came into the office about the same time that an announcement from the Walnut Marketing Board arrived bearing this recipe for salmon with a walnut crust.

The recipe won the walnut board's "Create with the Best" recipe competition for Jane Ryan, a student at the Culinary Institute of America.

Try this recipe as is or with mac nuts, but if you go for the latter, some adjustments will be necessary, because salmon is among the most oily fishes and macadamias are among the most oily nuts.

Don't use the breadcrumbs, as they suck in and hold oil. And be sure to use a rack or broiling pan so the oil doesn't pool around the fish.

Walnut-Crusted Salmon
with Buttermilk Sauce

1/3 cup walnuts
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten
4 6-ounce salmon fillets
3 cups fresh spinach, washed and stemmed
>> Sauce:
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup walnuts
1/4 cup Feta cheese
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon pepper, to taste

To make sauce: Pour buttermilk over nuts and refrigerate 8 to 12 hours, or overnight.

Combine nuts and milk with cheese, cream and pepper in a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth.

To prepare fish: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine walnuts and breadcrumbs in a blender and finely chop. Spread out on a plate. Dip flesh side of fish in beaten egg, then in the nut mixture. Place on baking pan, skin side down. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until fish is cooked through.

While fish is baking, blanch spinach in a not-stick pan; water that clings to the leaves will be sufficient to prevent burning. Cook just until wilted, about 1 minute.

To assemble dish: Place salmon on a bed of spinach. Spoon sauce around the spinach and in a line down the middle of the fish. Serves 4.

To adapt this dish for macadamia nuts: Eliminate the breadcrumb/walnut combination and instead use 3/4 cup roasted macadamia nuts, finely chopped. Nuts may be toasted in a frying pan for a more intense flavor. Otherwise, proceed as directed. Substitute unsalted, roasted macadamia nuts for the walnuts in the sauce.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving (with walnuts): 725 calories, 51 g total fat, 11 g saturated fat, 479 g sodium, 217 mg cholesterol, 54 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber.*

Speaking of macadamia nuts, recipe contests and culinary students, Pamela Neitenbach, a Maui Community College student, is a finalist in the Alizé Culinary Mentorship Challenge for her recipe using mac nuts in a duck sausage.

Neitenbach and Leanne Kamekona, chef at the Outrigger Wailea resort (her recipe was a Hawaiian Passion Alizé Martini) were chosen as two of 10 finalists nationwide. The grand prize will be an apprenticeship at Verbena in New York and a course at Le Cordon Bleu in France.

Alizé de France, a cognac line, sponsored the contest to encourage women in the culinary field.

Cranberry Macadamia Nut
Duck Sausage

1 teaspoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon sliced carrots
6 ounces duck leg meat
2 cups cognac
1 ounce (about 2 strips) bacon
1/2 ounce (2 tablespoons) chopped dried cranberries
1 ounce (1/4 cup) chopped macadamia nuts
1 teaspoon minced parsley
1 teaspoon ground chili pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
Rinsed hog casings, as needed
1 cup water
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Sweat shallots, garlic, ginger and carrots. Cool. Combine with duck meat and 1 cup of the cognac and marinate 1 hour.

Grind duck and bacon in a meat grinder through medium plate (1/4 inch) into a mixing bowl over an ice bath. Grind a second time through fine plate (1/8 inch).

Add cranberries, nuts, parsley and chili pepper and mix evenly.

Cook a small amount of meat and taste, adding salt and pepper as needed.

Fill and secure casings. Sausages may be any size. Pierce casings, then poach sausages in remaining cognac and water until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

Finish cooking sausage on a grill. Brush with butter before serving. Serves 6.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving (without salt to taste): 140 calories, 10 g total fat, 3 g saturated, 30 mg cholesterol, 70 mg sodium, 8 g protein, 3 g carbohydrate.*

Food Stuffs: Morsels

Send queries along with name and phone number to:
"By Request," Honolulu Star-Bulletin,
500 Ala Moana, No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813.
Or send e-mail to

Asterisk (*) after nutritional analyses in the
Body & Soul section indicates calculations by
Joannie Dobbs of Exploring New Concepts,
a nutritional consulting firm.

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