Not long ago, Joe’s sister, Helen, told me to blanch walnuts before using them to prevent any bitter taste.  It worked for me, so I am passing it along to you, and will add it to my “Cooking Tips” category on my web site Home Page.


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.   Bring a saucepan of water to a hard boil and add the shelled walnuts.   Allow them to boil only 1 minute; them immediately drain in a colander and spread onto paper towels to drain.  Pat the walnuts completely dry.  Spread the dry walnuts in a single layer on a baking pan and roast in the pre-heated oven for about 15 minutes.  Allow walnuts to cool completely before packaging, freezing, or using for cooking.


4 fresh or frozen fish filets


Freshly ground black pepper

2 T. butter or margarine (if more is needed, use the minimum)

6 oz. walnut halves or pieces

2 eggs, well-beaten & lightly salted

1 T. lemon juice


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Rinse the filets in cold water and drain on paper towel; then pat dry with paper towel.   Sprinkle both sides of the filets with salt and pepper.


Coarsely crush the walnuts.  Put the crushed walnuts into a flat glass or plastic vessel.


Dredge the fish filets in the beaten egg to completely coat; then dredge both sides of the fish in the crushed walnuts.   Do not expect the coarse walnuts to coat as evenly or as heavily as flour or meal.


Add the butter or margarine to a large non-stick skillet and heat on medium high until hot, being careful not to burn the butter.   Gently add the coated fish filets in one layer; then lower heat to medium and cover skillet with a lid.  Cook until browned.  Turn the fish to cook and brown on the other side, but do not use the lid.  Check fish doneness with a fork.  The fish is cooked when the inside of the fish is “flaky” and white in color.  Do not overcook; the fish filets are thin and cook quickly.  Sprinkle lemon juice on both sides before removing from the skillet.



Paraphrased from: Historical Virtues of the Walnut

By Andrew F. Smith

Andrew F. Smith is a writer and lecturer on food and culinary history. Smith is author or editor of 17 books and numerous articles. He serves as general editor for the Reaktion Books Edible Series and serves as the editor-in-chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. He teaches Culinary History at the New School in Manhattan.

My thanks go to Professor Andrew F Smith.

After reading the above-mentioned article by Professor Smith, I was amazed by the myriad uses of this nut.  The walnut tree is thought to have originated in central Asia and is called the Persian walnut because it grew wild there.  Long before written history, humans used the meat and oil of the nut for cooking.   The meat and the shells have been used for all sorts of fanciful medicinal purposes; for curing or preventing poisonings; for making wines, meads, and ketchups; for dying wool, for improving sexual problems; for curing insomnia since it does contain some melatonin; for growing hair, etc., etc., etc.

My husband, Joe, tells me that walnut shells are used to clean jet airplane engines.  Who would have “thunk” it?

Today medical science still gives rave reviews for the health advantages of eating those delicious walnuts.  Combine walnuts with today’s recommendations for eating fish and that ought to make you live longer than Methuselah!