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How to make your Christmas servings Haute Cuisine? Add nuts and dried fruits!

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December 15, 2015

Ferran Adrià, Raül Balam, Neil Perry and Mert Seran, INC’s collaborators, explain some secrets about how to make exclusive dishes with nuts and dried fruits for this Christmas.

Nuts and dried fruit are essential to our Christmas meals but, most of us haven’t realized yet that adding nuts and dried fruits can help us take our dishes to the next level. Four international chefs, Ferran Adrià (El Bulli), Raül Balam (Moments, Barcelona), Neil Perry (The Rockpool Group, Melbourne) and Mert Seran (Ulus 29, Istanbul), explain some secrets about how nuts and dried fruits can make your Christmas servings become haute cuisine.

One of the bests chefs in the world, Ferran Adrià, claims that “tree nuts have been present in domestic gastronomy in the Mediterranean cuisine. However, most of chefs use nuts as high gastronomic creativity, or elements with the capability of modifying textures, emphasize taste and highlight Mediterranean flavors”. In the book, “Nuts, Health and Mediterranean Culture”, edited by INC, Cyclops and Fundación Nucis, the three-Michelin Star chef says that “the creativity in the kitchen is important but it is also fundamental to remember our ancestors culinary habits”. “Adding nuts can help us to have an assorted and healthy diet, as they make it fun and with different flavors”, adds Adrià. He suggests us to make ‘dried fruit crepes with dates, figs, dried apricots, pistachios, raisins and prunes’.

The two-Michelin Star chef of Moments (Barcelona), Raül Balam, encourages us to add tree nuts as part of our recipes, both salty and sweet. “I am devoted to a type of cuisine that focuses on pleasure and health, and tree nuts have become a source of inspiration”, explains Balam. For instance, Balam suggests that we make a ‘fine turrón of tree nuts with pistachios, pine nuts, hazelnuts, egg and sugar’. You can find the recipe here.

Neil Perry, one of Australia’s leading and most influential chefs, also invites us to add nuts and dried fruit to our meals. “The options are endless. Their textures and flavours are unique. They are a game changer when it comes to any dish”, says Perry. This international chef invites us to use it in breads, loaves and cakes, but also in salads and sides. “Take tagine to another level with the addition of almonds, dates and apricots”, suggests Perry.

The chef of Ulus 29, in Istanbul, Mert Seran, also invites us to use nuts and dried fruits to improve our Christmas meals. For instance, Seran suggests adding pistachios and hazelnuts to a pesto in order to make our dishes more creative. Find Mert Seran ‘roasted baby beats and lime scented goat cheese with pistachio pesto’ here.

Ferran Adrià, Neil Perry and Mert Seran were given the INC Award for Excellence in Gastronomy within the frame of the INC Congress in 2013, 2014 and 2015, respectively.

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