Pistachio nuts are another delicious product of southern New Mexico. They’re usually harvested in mid-September, and many orchards sell them online. Amazingly, pistachios are in the same family as mangoes, cashews and poison-ivy! The tree needs long, hot summers and moderately cold winters, so our climate is perfect for it. In fact, the climate (and altitude) of the Tularosa Basin is almost identical to the areas of Iran and Turkey where pistachios have been grown for thousands of years. They are very long-lived trees, and tolerant of our alkaline soil.
Brittle is amazingly easy to make, especially with this microwave recipe. Dried green chile powder makes it a spicy-sweet treat. Although it’s not as commonly used, you can find dried green chile at many grocery stores in New Mexico, right next to the dried red chile.
1/2 C. corn syrup
1 C. white sugar
1 C. shelled pistachios
1 T. butter
1 T. dried green chile powder
1 t. baking soda
Mix the corn syrup and sugar in a medium-size bowl, and microwave on high power 4 minutes. It should be quite foamy. Add the pistachios and cook 3 more minutes. Stir in the butter and green chile powder, and cook 1 1/2 minutes longer. Stir in the baking soda, and quickly spread the mixture on a buttered cookie sheet. When cool, gently flex the cookie sheet to pop the brittle free, then break it up into chunks.
Blogger Amy White is totally obsessed with vegetables and fruits. Amy can be found every Friday right here, and on her blog, www.veggieobsession.blogspot.com.
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