Winter Creek Ranch

Walnut Recipes


Pasta Dishes Breads Dessert Miscellaneous

Gail Sims' toasted organic walnuts

Toast walnut meats in oven at 325 degrees for 12 min, then serve warm. The flavor is much enhanced. Gail Sims was a previous owner of the ranch. See the "About the ranch" page for history.

Tucca: Italian bread dip

In a food processor or blender, combine two cups roasted walnuts, one tablespoon chopped garlic, a half cup olive oil, two tablespoons chopped Italian parsley, quarter cup water, salt and fresh pepper to taste. Pulse blend until texture is medium chunky. Serve with an array of breads. Makes three cups.

Linguine Juglans

The flavor objective in this dish is the nutty toasted walnuts, cooked sweet onions, the subtle sharpness of the chili and the aroma of the spices against the bland, creamy sauce background. The noodles form the texture element and the walnuts add a texture contrast. This is a wonderful, very rich dish which needs a rich and savory dry white wine (eg, Edna Vineyards Chardonnay, San Luis Obispo, California).

Boil one pound of linguine noodles in salted water with two tablespoons of olive oil. Strain when tender, about ten minutes. Melt three tablespoons butter in a medium skillet over low heat. Dice a large onion finely, saute in the butter until just translucent. Remove from heat, add one cup heavy cream and one cup sour cream. Heat slightly, stirring (do not boil!). Stir in the noodles and a quarter cup crumbled, toasted walnuts. Crush two teaspoons each of finely chopped fresh thyme and rosemary (or crumbled dry leaves). Stir in the spices through a fine mesh sieve along with a pinch of powdered red chile (de Arbol or Cayenne). Stir in a quarter cup dry Vermouth or dry white wine. Turn out into an oven-proof serving dish and grate a quarter cup of fresh Reggiano Parmesano over the top. Bake in a 300 degree oven for about ten minutes. Garnish with a quarter cup toasted walnuts and broil lightly for a few minutes. Try making this with smoked salmon or chicken slices for an even richer main dish.

"Juglans" is the Latin genus for walnuts.

Pasta with gorgonzola/walnut sauce

This recipe is from John Delisi of Trattoria Gianni, Chicago.

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Toast a quarter cup of walnuts for 10-12 minutes. Boil your water and cook a half pound of pasta until al dente. While pasta cooks, melt a tablespoon of butter in a skillet and cook a chopped clove of garlic for one minute. Add a half cup of bread crumbs and cook three minutes until golden. Let cool. Stir in two tablespoons of fresh basil, salt and pepper to taste.

Before serving, heat one cup of crumbled gorgonzola cheese with a half cup of milk or half-and-half. Whisk constantly and add a generous amount of fresh ground black pepper. To serve, drain pasta and place in a large bowl. Toss with cheese sauce to coat. Sprinkle with crumb mix and toasted walnuts. Garnish with basil. Makes four servings.

Ester Robbins White's walnut bread

This recipe is from Ester Robbins White, who lived in the early 1900s in Turkey with her husband and children, George, Margaret, Ester, and Katy.

Sift two cups of flour, mix with half cup sugar, two teaspoons baking powder, and one teaspoon salt. Add an egg yolk, a cup of milk, two tablespoons melted butter, and a half cup chopped walnuts. Beat thoroughly. Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees. One can use equal parts whole wheat and white flower, and brown sugar can be substituted for white if desired. For variation, add a tablespoon of grated orange peel and a half cup of orange marmalade instead of sure, reducing milk to half a cup.

Sam's Walnut Olive bread

3 cps white bread flour
1 cp multi-grain flour (or 1/2 cp whole-wheat + 1/2 cp white flour)
1/2 cp walnut meats, slightly crumbled (up to 1 cp may be added)
1/4 cp black olives, pref. salt-cured and pitted
1/2 Tbsp salt
1 tsp sugar

--mix together in a large dough-mixing bowl

2 tsp dry yeast powder
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp molasses
13 oz warm water

--mix together in a 2-cup glass container and wisk briskly. Allow to stand ~3 minutes and wisk again. Allow to stand ~5 minutes or until a foam forms from the action of the activated yeast on the surface. Wisk again and pour into the dry ingredients. Mix with a large spoon, then turn out on to a floured surface and sprinkle the top liberally with additional flour. Knead with your hands until dough is smooth and not sticky, adding additional flour, 1/2 - 3/4 cp, to make a stiff dough. Dough should be quite stiff to knead but not quite so stiff that it cracks when you fold it over to knead. Form into a ball and replace in mixing bowl. Cover and allow to rise (proof) for 45' at room temperature.

Sprinkle a large baking sheet with a thin layer of polenta or coarse corn meal. Turn the dough out a second time onto a lightly floured surface, pat down and fold over twice. At this point you can make either a round boule, about 2-1/2 lb, or 2 batard loaves, each a little over 1 lb.

Form into a cylinder, about 12" x 3" and cut across the middle into 2 pieces. Place each piece on its cut side on the floured surface and press into a disk 1/2 - 1" thick. Pick one piece up from the further edge and fold toward you, in half. Press down on the edge near you, tending to form a cylinder. Pick up and fold from the further edge a second time, press on the near edge and roll the dough into a cylinder until it is about 14" long (or as long as your baking sheet will accomodate). Place on the polenta-covered baking sheet. Repeat with the second piece of dough and place on the sheet.

Form the entire sponge into a sphere and, holding the dough by each side, tuck the dough surface under the bottom with your fingers, stretching out the top surface of the dough and rotating it. Place the bottom side, which will become wrinkled and folded from the action of your fingers, on the baking sheet. The surface should be stretched smooth and rounded gently.

Cover with a large plastic bag or sheet, tucked under the edges of the baking sheet, and poofed up so that it holds air and does not touch the dough surface.* Allow to proof for 45'. After 30', start the oven to heat to 425 degrees F. At the end of the proofing, spritz the top of the loaf or loaves with water, using a plant mister, and sprinkle with sesame, poppy or other seeds. (The moisture will make them stick to the dough and keep it from drying out.) Slash the loaves with a bakers lame or single-edge razor blade.

Place the loaves into the hot oven and vigorously spritz the inside of the oven and loaf tops with the mister. (If you have an oven light, remove it before you spritz the oven because it will break when the water hits it.) Set a timer for 3' and spritz again. Set the timer for 15' and, at the end of the time, turn the temperature down to 350 degrees F. Bake for another 5' - 7' and remove the loaves to a cooling rack, removing them from the baking sheet immediately.

*I like to proof my dough on a counter top with open shelves above it. I attach a large paper clip to a string and fasten the clip to the top of my plastic proofing bag. The other end of the string I place on one of the shelves with a heavy bowl on it and adjust the length of the string so that it supports the top of the bag. The large bags I save from the packaging for new stereo or electronic equipment, as it is transparent and larger than grocery plastic bags.

Toasted walnut quick bread

1 teaspoon salt
1 medium orange
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
2 cups warm milk
1 cup whole wheat flower
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/4 cups maple syrup

Mix flours, baking powder, salt, walnuts. Remove zest from orange, add to flour mix, stir. Separately, beat egg lightly, add milk, maple syrup, melted butter; beat till smooth. Add milk mixture to dry mixture, stir quickly. Pour into buttered floured one-quart loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees till golden, ~40-45 minutes. Cool three minutes in pan, turn out on rack, cool.

Walnut whiskey pie

Caroline makes this for New Year's Eve. Goes well with anything, especially champagne.

1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 cup corn syrup (Karo)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Jack Daniels Tennessee whiskey or a good Kentucky Bourbon
1 cup walnut pieces

Make a pie shell. For filling, beat eggs, cream in sugar and butter. Mix in corn syrup, vanilla and salt. Add whiskey, beat. Stir in walnuts. Pour filling into shell and float a few whole walnut meats on the surface.  Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes, then at 375 for another 30 minutes or until done (firm in center). Cool.

Dougad cake

This recipe for a Christmas Cake is from Kim Blanchet, a friend of Sam's at Colorado State University. It's fun to make in a small bundt pan, and decorate with powdered sugar and fill the inside "hole" with Christmas greenery. Very festive. This is a fun recipe to make with small children - they get to mix a lot and it is relatively fool-proof.

2 cups sugar
1/2 pound butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup milk
6 egg whites
4 ounces melted chocolate
2 cups flour
2 cups chopped walnuts

Beat egg whites until stiff, set aside. Cream butter and sugar, add beaten egg yolks and chocolate. Add milk and flour alternately, then vanilla and nuts. Fold in egg whites. Bake in tube pan at 325 degrees for 70 minutes. ("Caroline, the cake I made for you guys was only this recipe, so use a full size tube pan if you make the whole one. Kim")

Sibyl Burling's walnut torte

Caroline and Sam lived with Sibyl and Rob Burling and kids (Steve, Nono, Adele) in Ann Arbor, Michigan for a few months in the fall of 1966. We had a great time sharing cooking, and Sibyl made this great party dessert. Caroline has made this dessert a lot - a super party dish, not too hard to make, and a light ending to a meal.

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups (6-8 ounces) powdered walnut meats
1/2 pint whipped cream
grated rind of one orange
6 eggs, separated

Beat together egg yolks, orange rind, 1/2 cup sugar, salt until creamy. Beat egg whites till frothy, add 3/4 cup sugar slowly while beating. Beat till stiff. Add nuts and yolks to whites, folding gently and thoroughly. Bake in two 9" paper-lined pans at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes. Serve torte with whipped cream in between the layers and on top. Garnish with powdered nut meats and orange rind. Serves 8+ persons.

Dutch cake

A great recipe from Kathy Francis, "the hostess with the mostest" among the graduate student group in Fort Collins, Colorado in 1968-1972. Students and post-docs at Colorado State University were George Van Dyne's original ecosystem modelers group (Sam Bledsoe, Coke Francis and Gordie Swartzman) in the Natural Resource Ecology Lab.

4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cloves
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup oil
2 teaspoons soda
2 cups sour milk
1 cup chopped walnuts

Beat eggs, add sugars and blend. Add oil, stir well. Add sifted dry ingredients and milk alternately. Sour milk can be 2 cups (minus 8 teaspoons) sweet milk, with 8 teaspoons vinegar. Fold in chopped walnuts. Bake in two well greased loaf pans 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 300, bake 90 minutes more. This is a good bread to serve sliced and toasted at a brunch.

Walnutty Granola

7 cps organic (thick cut) oatmeal
2 cps walnuts
1½ cps almonds (chopped or whole)
1 cp sunflower seeds
1 cp sesame seeds
1 cp coconut flakes
1 cp honey (warmed in microwave)
1 cp canola oil

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Mix all solid ingredients together in a large, flat, aluminum baking pan. Pour warm honey and canola oil into a 1 qt mixing bowl and whip together with a wire whisk. Immediately pour the emulsion over the dry ingredients. Stir all together and place in the 325° oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and stir thoroughly, turning from bottom to top with a spatula. Turn oven temperature down to 300° and replace baking pan. Cook for 15 minutes; remove and stir thoroughly. If you use a convection oven, another 7-10 minutes will probably be sufficient to complete the cooking. A conventional oven may require another full 15 minutes or perhaps more. Don't overcook-- use color as a guide to doneness. Tan, not dark brown,is good.
Turn out granola on a large flat, clean surface and allow to cool. Store in airtight container when granola is still slightly warm to the touch (Taste it!). If you allow it to sit on the cooling surface for too long it will become sticky, especially in a humid climate.
Makes about 3½ pounds. Try adding different nuts-- hazelnuts are good; my friend Bill Southworth (who originated this recipe) likes cashews. I use all the organic ingredients I can find in the local Coop grocery store but have trouble finding some-- that doesn't keep me from making my granola! --sam

Sam's balsamic walnut herb salad dressing

1/8 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1 teaspoon dried Herb de Provence
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 ounces balsamic vinegar
6 ounces virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons gorgonzola cheese in small chunks

Grind the herbs in a mortar to bring out the oils. Mix all together.

Sam's apple cinnamon walnut oatmeal

1 cup oatmeal
1/2 apple in small chunks
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Bring one cup water to boil, add all ingredients, stir, lower heat, and simmer 3-5 minutes. Serve with brown sugar, cream or butter. Stir in wild blueberries!

Winter Creek Ranch
18080 County Road 70
Brooks, CA 95606

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