It’s a wrap!
We taped the final segment for season 2 of It’s Just Food today at about 5:30 pm. Since we were taping at Sobey’s, one of few grocery stores that sell fresh bison, I loaded up. But when I called Mike to tell him I was bringing dinner home, he reminded me that it was past 6 and perhaps something that required less preparation was in order.
So I decided to try one of their take-and-bake pizzas, topped with shredded chicken, roasted red peppers and grilled strips of Portobello mushroom, on a whole wheat crust. It was OK. I think the fact that I was starving made it much more appealing. W scarfed it down.
But now I want something sweet. I’ve inherited my Dad’s insatiable need for a bit of chocolate after dinner. Luckily, I have some hazelnuts in the freezer, and have been dying to tell you all about my new addiction: do-it-yourself chocolate covered hazelnuts.
I discovered over Christmas that hazelnuts are wonderful to toast and keep in a bowl on the shelf for snacking. I adore hazelnuts. I have no idea why I only buy them during the holidays for Christmas baking. Flaked hazelnuts are fantastic in granola, too.
Toasted nuts are always best: to toast hazelnuts, lay them on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven at 400 F for about 10 minutes, or until you can smell them and they start to turn the color of teak. Their skins will loosen; dump them onto a clean tea towel and rub them, this will get rid of some of the skins. There is no need to get them all off – after all, they provide extra fiber.
Pour the hot nuts into a bowl, and add some chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips. It doesn’t matter how much – one cereal bowl worth of hazelnuts to a small handful of chocolate sounds about right. I just realized I should have chopped up and used the second half of a dark Denman Island Espresso Chunk chocolate bar from on top of the fridge – that would have been a great combo.
Toss them about, and the warmth of the nuts will melt the chocolate, coating the nuts in a rustic sort of way. Spread back on the baking sheet and leave them alone until they are cool. Store extras in a sealed container on the shelf (not in the fridge – cold chocolate is not a good thing).
These are great to put out a bowl of when friends come over, or to win brownie points with your chocoholic Dad, or to keep on the table when playing Scrabble with your mom. Or to eat in bed with your 2 year old while reading The Very Hungry Catarpillar when you’re tired and your feet hurt. (Just make sure when feeding this to toddlers that you don’t use chocolate filled with ground espresso beans. Trust me on this one.)