Monday, January 03, 2011

Chocolate Pistachio Fudge-January Recipe of the Month

chocolate pistachios fudge
When the recipe starts with chocolate and pistachios, can you really go wrong? Not here you can't! My two favorite foods are on display this month.

Since we went to New Mexico
a few years back, I have been hooked on these garlic & green chile pistachios. We bought every bag they had at a little shop on the square in Santa Fe. Once we got home I went online and I've been ordering them from Heart of the Desert ever since. This year I ordered 5 lbs just before Christmas. They're almost all gone.

When I commented on Facebook about buying pistachios as Christmas gifts this year, 'Peppy Pistachio' challenged me to come up with a recipe using the pistachios. So, here goes:

The basic fudge recipe is from Carnation. It's the recipe I use to make fudge because it's on the back of the can of evaporated milk so I never lose it. I would suggest getting pistachio meat if you're in a hurry. Shelling pistachios and ending up with enough to make anything is tricky. I eat most of them!

1 1/2 cups white sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
2 tbsps butter
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c chopped pistachios (I'm using the garlic & green chile for the 'oomph'- these puppies will clear your sinuses right out!)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Assemble all of your ingredients first, poured out in the proper amounts, because this goes fast and you want to be ready.

Line an 8" square baking pan with foil (really, save yourself the grief of cleaning hardened fudge!)

In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, evap milk, butter & salt and bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 4-5 minutes over medium heat. Stir constantly. You don't want it to burn and stick to the pan.

Remove pan from heat and immediately stir in choco chips, marshmallows, nuts & vanilla. Stir until marshmallows are completely melted, about 1 minute. (Good upper body workout, but won't do a thing for the calories in the fudge.)

Pour into lined pan, spread out to corners, place in fridge for about 2 hours to set. Lifting foil, remove fudge from pan and turn out onto cutting board. Makes about 36-48 pieces, cut small.

How to shell pistachios for use in recipes:

Using half a shell, insert it into the opening of a whole shell and twist. If you want all of the pistachios for yourself, pry them open with your teeth. No one will want to share. ;-)

A little reminisce- I first encountered pistachios (the red ones) in the Bronx 50 some odd years ago. (Eek, maybe I should erase that number!) They were imported from Turkey by a company called Zenobia. I used to sit on the edge of the curb and flick the shells into the street. It was a dead giveaway that I'd had them- 10 red fingers, red lips, big smile! I always thought it was such an exotic food. That and pomegranates, which we called Chinese apples. (Who knows why!)

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