Food Q&A: Several options available for making nut butter

Aug 29, 2018 at 4:17 AM

The Washington Post Food staff answers questions about all things edible.

The Washington Post Food staff answers questions about all things edible.

Q: What nuts work as nut butters? Do any nuts not work that way? I have made my own almond butter and cashew butter and wonder whether others would do well with a long spin in the processor.

A: Consider hazelnut butter, pistachio butter, pecan butter and macadamia butter.

Q: Is there anyway to make tabbouleh and have it ready to eat immediately, or does it need to set for an hour like most of the recipes I‘ve seen?

A: Well, it helps to let the bulgur absorb some of the flavors, but usually 20 or 30 minutes is enough, probably even less. But here‘s the other thing: Taste right after you make it, and decide for yourself.

Q: I steer clear of too-hot peppers, but I love the tang and flavor of paprika, both hot and sweet. Is there some way of finding out what Kashmiri consists of?

A: Kashmiri chile peppers are not hot, compared with the other flamethrowers available in India.

According to Pepper Scale, Kashmiris range between 1,000 and 2,000 Scoville Heat Units or SHU. That makes the pepper generally milder than a jalapeno.

Compare that to, say, the Naga Morich, which is sometimes called (rightly) the serpent pepper. It‘s SHU is more than 1 million!

Q: I need to produce a birthday cake for a party at a hotel. I‘d like to make a cake that can be made two days ahead of time (can‘t use alcohol, so no fruitcake-type concoctions). I can think of frosting options that will work (maybe jam decorated with fruit), but are there other options, too?

A: Actually, a layer cake with buttercream will be OK for a few days at room temperature — up to five days, according to baking guru Stella Parks at Serious Eats.

Q: Please help me update my pots and pans. When I got married in 2010, I knew enough not to get a set but to get individual pots and pans. My husband and I cook a lot and kind of were a little rough with some of them, and now all of my nonstick Calphalon Unison pans need to be replaced; they‘re all scratched from using knives and metal utensils, and I know not to use them any more because it‘s dangerous. Also, I now know not to use knives and metal utensils in them! Someone had also gifted us with a couple of the Todd English green pots, and several years ago I burned one pretty badly, and now it‘s not looking good either. Would you please suggest a line of pots and pans to replace these? I would love to upgrade to something that will last longer than eight years. I‘m thinking end-of-summer/Labor Day sales would be a good time to shop.

A: Generally I like to pick and choose between brands and lines to build my own set.

That being said, I swear by All-Clad. Over the years, I have – with sales, coupons, etc. – built up a collection that covers almost all my needs. I really like the three-layer stainless steel. In fact, I am using it more and more these days as opposed to a nonstick. It cleans up well, cooks evenly and should last a lifetime (keep it looking great with Bar Keepers Friend). Well worth the investment. Oven-safe, too.

Right now I have the 10- and 12-inch covered fry pans (the sales online on the All-Clad site are pretty good), in addition to 2- and 4-quart saucepans.

I am really happy with the nonstick All-Clad 12-inch skillet if you want that option, too.

Other must-haves: a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, such as Lodge. A 10-inch is nice as well. Also an enameled cast-iron Dutch oven, at least 5 or 6 quarts. Le Creuset is the big name, but other brands are available, of course.

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