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Roasted Skinned Hazelnuts

Ready-skinned hazelnuts are available, but the taste is better when you skin them yourself. You might lose a dish towel in the proc ess, so use an old, rough one.

Set the oven at 375 degrees. Place 1 pound of hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast them for 10 to 15 minutes or until the hazelnuts are fragrant. Remove them from the oven and tip them onto the towel.

While they're still hot, fold up the sides of the towel and rub the nuts together until their skins loosen. This will take perseverance, and not all the skins will come off. Remove nuts that are skinned and continue rubbing until the rest are skinned. A few skins left on the nuts is fine. Use as directed.

Mushrooms with hazelnut-parsley paste

1/2 cup roasted skinned hazelnuts (see recipe)
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound mixed mushrooms (shiitake, cremini, oyster, portobello, and button), thinly sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the hazelnuts, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper. Work the mixture in on-off motions until it forms a paste. Set it aside.

In a large skillet, melt the butter and add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the hazelnut mixture and lemon juice and continue cooking for 1 minute. Serve at once as a side dish with chicken or steak.

Serves 4

By Sheryl Julian and Julie Riven

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