Tuesday, September 25, 2012

2-on-Tuesday Recipes: PECANS!

Pecans are the South's favorite tree nut. The pecan groves or orchards of the deep, Dirty South are gorgeous with neat rows of gnarly ancients standing guard. Occasionally you will see the breeze catch Spanish Moss hanging from branches looking like the eerie setting from an old movie.

I've never made a pecan pie. There's no need because at Christmas, my sister-in-law, Renae Allen-Elmore, makes a mean pie loaded with pecans! Sometimes, there's one for me with chocolate chunks added! 

Dane using
Pappau's gadget
My "Pappau," W. A. Chisholm, would go out toward Monroe, Louisiana, to either "shake and pick up" Paper Shell Pecans or, as he got older, purchase a brown paper sack full. A carpenter by trade, he constructed a nut cracker out of machine parts and would sit for hours cracking pecans. Pappau was a master artist when it came to skillfully pulling the meat out in one whole piece! My family still uses his little invention.

Spiced or Frosted Pecans

1 cup      Sugar
1/2 cup Water
1 tsp       Cinnamon
1/4 tsp   Salt
1 tsp       Vanilla Extract
2 1/2 cups Pecan Halves
  • Combine first four ingredients in saucepan cooking over medium heat until candy thermometer reads 232 degrees OR until mixture spins a thread
  • Remove from heat and add vanilla and pecans
  • Stir until pecans are coated and mixture begins to seize (crystalize) or look creamy
  • At this point, you decide to keep stirring or tumble the coated pecans onto a cookie sheet
If the weather is humid or rainy, you can slide the coated pecans on the cookie sheet into a 350 degree oven. Don't leave! You'll have to babysit the pecans so they don't scorch. Break pecan clumps up with a wooden spoon or fork.

Cajun or Creole Roasted Pecans

3 cups   Pecan Halves
1/4 cup Butter, melted
1 Tbsp   Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp       Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
  • Stir together all ingredients and spill onto a large cookie sheet
  • Bake at 250 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes
  • Blot on paper towels or newspaper
These recipes are great for gift-giving in seasonal tins or Mason jars tied with ribbon or raffia. OR...be totally selfish and keep the batch at home to enjoy watching football or movies. To purchase or for more pecan recipes, click or copy this link, http://www.louisianapecanshelling.com/,  into your browser.


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