PORTLAND/ Produce Row Café
1 ¼ cup hazelnuts, shelled and halved
1 ½ teaspoons coriander
¾ teaspoon celery seed, finely chopped or muddled in spice grinder
1 ½ teaspoons fennel seed, finely chopped or muddled in spice grinder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon sea salt
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
Heat oven to 300 degrees. Mix all dry spices together in a small bowl, then pour dry spices over halved hazelnuts and thoroughly mix. Add water and mix again. Pour spiced nuts onto baking sheet or cast iron skillet in a single layer.
Put baking sheet into pre-heated oven. Check and stir nuts every 7 minutes to ensure even spice covering. Cook for approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
Hazelnuts should be golden brown in the center when finished—check for golden brown center when stirring.
Remove from oven and let cool.
SILVERTON/ Creekside Grill
For hazelnut crust
½ cup toasted hazelnuts
½ cup Panko bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic
½ teaspoon chile flakes
¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Add hazelnuts and garlic to a food processor and pulse the nuts until they are roughly the size of the bread crumbs. Add the remaining ingredients and continue pulsing to make sure everything is incorporated and roughly the same size.
4 butterflied trout, head and fins removed
4 tablespoons butter
4 eggs beaten with 2 tablespoons of water
1 ½ cups flour
4 teaspoons oil
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons chopped parsley
Season trout lightly with salt and pepper on both sides. Put the flour, egg wash and hazelnut mixture into shallow dishes. Then place trout flesh-side down in the flour, pressing slightly to make sure you have even coverage. Shake off excess flour and lay flesh-side down again in the egg mixture, trying not to get it on the skin side. Let the excess run off, and then put egg-side down into the hazelnut mixture. Press lightly on the skin side to ensure even coverage. After breading let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.
Heat a sauté pan big enough to hold the trout over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of oil, then add the trout breading-side down. Cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and set the trout aside on a warm plate, crust side up. Return the pan to the heat and add 1 tablespoon of butter. Swirl the butter in the pan until it melts and starts to turn brown and smell nutty. Pour the butter over the trout and serve garnished with a bit of parsley and a lemon wedge. Repeat with the remaining trout.
PORTLAND/ Radar Restaurant
5 pounds delicata, red kuri, hubbard and butternut winter squash, peeled only if skin is tough
1 cup vegetable stock or low-salt broth
6 ounces whole Oregon hazelnuts
3 tablespoons water
¾ cup sugar
½ tablespoon Jacobsen sea salt
1 cup mascarpone
4 leaves sage – chiffonade
2 teaspoons coarse black pepper
2 tablespoons Italian parsley
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Apple cider vinegar to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut squash into bite-sized pieces according to the shape of the whole vegetable. Keep squash separated by type, then toss with canola oil.
Roast squash separately by type on sheet trays lined with parchment paper. Cooking time will vary according to size of cuts and squash type—until just fork-tender to avoid overcooking, approximately 5 to 20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
Add vegetable stock and butter to large saucepan and cook over medium heat until butter is melted. Add all types squash, apple cider vinegar and sea salt to taste.
Cook until squash is warmed through and liquid has been mostly absorbed, then add hazelnuts and parsley and toss to combine. Remove from heat and distribute over mascarpone on individual plates or one large platter.
For candied hazelnuts
Cook sugar and water in sauce pot over high heat until amber in color, approximately 4 minutes. Add hazelnuts to pot and stir constantly for 1 minute over high heat, then transfer to Silpat liner on sheet tray.
Quickly separate hazelnuts using two forks to avoid sticking together. Sprinkle with one pinch sea salt, then let cool to room temperature.
Break candied hazelnuts into individual pieces.
For herbed mascarpone
Add pepper and sage to mascarpone. Stir to combine. Spoon approximately 3 tablespoons on small plate and spread to form a circle.
*A winner has been selected for this category* Congratulations to Ashley J. in Bend!