Tag Archives: pistachio

Pistachio Cranberry Biscotti for the Holidays

pistachio cookies Melissa Iwai 4

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

Wow, Chanukah has already passed and Christmas is just days away!

I haven’t had a chance to bake much this season because of all my art projects, but managed to combine my two loves for this batch of Pistachio Cranberry Biscotti.

I’ve been making these biscotti pretty much every year, but this time I changed it up by adding orange zest and a 1 tablespoon of orange juice to the batter. I thought they’d be pretty with some white, so I drizzled melted white chocolate over the biscotti.

I mentioned combining my art and baking — this is what I created — an illustrated recipe for They Draw and Cook. 🙂

cranberry pistachio biscotti Melissa Iwai 2015

It is featured on their site this week as a Red and Green recipe.

I know it is hard to read the recipe so small! Here it is for your printing purposes (note: the white chocolate part and orange juice is not in the illustrated recipe because I didn’t have enough room!):

pistachio cookies Melissa Iwai 2

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

2 1/2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon orange zest

1 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice

1 cup salted shelled pistachio nuts

1 1/3 cups dried cranberries

1 large egg, or white, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water to  make egg wash

1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted (optional)

pistachio cookies Melissa Iwai 5

1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line baking sheet with parchment.

2 Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda &powder &salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, vanilla, orange zest and beat with mixer  just until a dough forms.

3. Add cranberries and pistachios and mix at low speed.

4. Turn out dough onto a well-floured surface and knead several times. Halve dough, then form each half into a 13 by 2 inch slightly flattened log on baking sheet, Brush logs with egg wash.

5. Bake in middle of oven until golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool logs on baking sheet on a rack 10 minutes.

6. Transfer to a cutting board and cut diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices with a serrated knife. Arrange slices, cut side down, in 1 layer on baking sheet Bake in middle of oven turning once until golden and crisp. 20 – 25 minutes total.

7. Cool completely and drizzle with melted white chocolate if you’d like.  Put the melted chocolate in a sandwich bag, seal, and snip a hole in one corner. Squeeze and drizzle chocolate over cooled biscotti. Chill in the refrigerator to set chocolate.






Filed under Art Related, Desserts

Pistachio Crusted Chicken Breast Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Olives and Award

I wish I could be an organized person.  You the know the type:  Someone who has a closet that looks like this.  Someone who never makes scheduling mistakes.  Someone who can juggle the seven different ongoing projects life hands her.
I have so many photos of dishes to post, half written recipes here and there.  To be honest, sometimes I forget about them. Or worse, they pile up on the computer, mocking me, and I begin to have stress dreams about forgetting to turn in all the assignments during the semester and I have to get everything in to pass the class!

I’m going to attempt to partially rectify the situation by sharing a (really good!) recipe I’ve been meaning to post for months:  Pistachio Crusted Chicken Breast Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Olives

Not the most photogenic dish, but very delicious!

The truth is, I entered this recipe in a contest for olives awhile ago.  I heard the winning recipe was an olive couscous, but I can’t find it anywhere!

The goat cheese stuffing in my recipe is good by itself as a dip– it would be easy to use as part of an appetizer too.  It’s creamy, lemony, and salty and briny from the olives.  I thought pistachios would work well with the flavors, so I coated the chicken with it.  The cream sauce pulls it together.  It’s also good as a leftover — in a sandwich! (Recipe at end of post).

Another post that is long overdue is acknowledging that I received the Versatile Blogger Award from Jereme@jeremeskitchen.com, Sharyn@thekalechronicals.com, and most recently Choc Chip Uru@gobakeyourself.wordpress.com.

Jereme throws amazing parties, and has so many great appetizer and dessert recipes on her site.  I was so amazed to learn that she just celebrated her one year blogiversary.  I had thought she had been blogging for much longer.   Sharyn, is a wonderful artist and cook, that somehow finds time to create beautiful gouache paintings of what she cooks almost every day!  Choc Chip Uru is a teenager and consummate baker and writer whom I’m endlessly awed and inspired by.  Her posts make me drool and laugh at the same time.  Please visit their blogs!  Thank you, ladies, for bestowing the award to me!  Please forgive me for the delay.  I procrastinated forever because I can’t take the pressure of coming up with seven “interesting” and “enlightening” things about myself that I can post.  I’m just going to skip this part…  (blush.)

The great part of receiving the award is that I get to introduce readers to fifteen other blogs that I’ve just discovered and share the love.

I’ll pass on the award to these bloggers:

Thanks for all the great posts and inspiration!

Here is my stuffed chicken recipe:

Pistachio Crusted Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Olives

Stuffed Chicken:
¼ cup olive oil, divided
1 6 oz. can of California Black Olives, finely diced
6 oz. goat cheese, at room temperature
zest of one small lemon (about ¼ teaspoon)
1 cup golden raisins
6 4 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
kosher salt and pepper
2 eggs
2 cups raw shelled pistachios, finely chopped or processed in food processor
Cream Sauce:
1 large shallot, finely diced
2 cups chicken broth
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
      1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Brush a 9×13 inch baking dish with olive oil.
  1. Mix olives into goat cheese until well incorporated.  Add in zest and golden raisins.  Set aside.
  2. Cut chicken breasts in half lengthwise and pound to an even ¼-inch thickness.  Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Spread goat cheese mixture on each breast piece.   Roll up and secure with a toothpick.  Dredge each roll in egg and coat with pistachio nuts. Set aside. Reserve any leftover pistachio bits.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over medium heat.  In batches, lightly brown each chicken breast roll on all sides until pistachios are golden.  Do not crowd pan.  Add oil as needed.  Remove pan from heat and transfer chicken to prepared baking dish.  Bake chicken in oven for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove cooked pistachio bits to a dish and reserve.  Do not wash skillet.
  5. While chicken is baking, make cream sauce.  Heat 1 tablespoon oil in used skillet.  Saute shallot in oil until softened.  Add reserved pistachio bits from dredging.  Saute until golden.  Then add reserved cooked pistachio bits.  Add chicken broth, bring to a boil and cook, stirring until sauce is reduced by half.  Add cream.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer for 2 minutes.  Add butter, stir to incorporate and remove from heat.  When chicken is done, remove toothpicks and serve with sauce.
Makes 6 servings


Filed under chicken, Dinner