Lots of recipes call for chopped nuts, but few offer guidance on how to best chop them. If you don't have pre-chopped nuts on hand and you expect that carefully chopping away with your kitchen knife will be a tedious process, just use this handy technique to save yourself time and effort.
Measure the amount of nuts you need and put them into a clean plastic zip-top bag. Squeeze the excess air out of the bag and close it most of the way, leaving just a small opening near one side of the zipper.
Lay one dishcloth on a hard, flat surface like a kitchen counter or table. Lay the plastic bag on top of the dishcloth and cover it with another dishcloth.
Use the rolling pin to roll over the bag several times, applying firm pressure. After about five or six rolls, remove the top dish cloth and examine the nuts. They may be sufficiently chopped and crushed; if not, just roll them over a few more times.
When the nuts are crushed to your satisfaction, dump them from the plastic bag into your recipe bowl or into another container for storing.
- If you don't have a rolling pin, you can substitute just about anything that is hard, smooth and cylindrical. Canned goods and jars turned on their sides make good substitutes in a pinch.
- If you don't leave a small gap in the seal of the bag, you may pop the bag or force open the seal, causing nut shards to blow out.