A package arrived last week in the mail. A big package of pecans! Southern pecans! There are pecans on the prairie and I often buy them, cracked, and spend November evenings shelling pecans. Three bowls and the sack of pecans. One bowl for the shells, one bowl for the halves and one bowl for the pieces.
But prairie pecans are small compared to Southern pecans. So I was thrilled with my package of pecans.
The package was from a dear reader -- Sarah (with an H) from Biloxi. We've been emailing for a while and she is a delightful person and I always look forward to her emails.
And what a surprise is the gift of a big bag of pecans.
What to do with them? They're big and they're pretty . . . and they're very tasty.
I decided not to use them in any recipe that I would have to chop them -- they are too pretty not to use whole!
So I took half of them and . . .
Made spiced pecans. We simply adore them. They're great to have around for nibbles during the holidays. And they're even good sprinkled on salads. I love the sweet and spicy and herby flavor of these pecans!
They look good in one of our glass candy dishes . . . the simplicity of the compote and the glazed pecans.
This is an adaptation of an Ina recipe. She used mixed nuts but I really prefer to do pecans or walnuts only. I guess I'm a "nut purist"! They're easy, they freeze well . . . and if you don't stick them in the freezer they're gone before you know it!
CHIPOTLE AND ROSEMARY ROASTED PECANS
7 1/2 cups (or 31 ounces pecans)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 c. light brown sugar, lightly packed
3 T. freshly squeezed orange juice
2 t. ground chipotle powder
4 T. minced fresh rosemary leaves, divided
4 t. Kosher salt, divided
Preheat oven to 350.
Brush a sheet pan generously with vegetable oil
Combine pecans, 2 T. of vegetable oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, orange juice and chipotle powder on the sheet pan. Toss to coat the nuts evenly.
Add 2 T. of the rosemary and 2 t. salt and toss again.
Spread nuts in one layer.
Roast nuts for 25 minutes, stirring twice with a large metal spatula until the nuts are glazed and golden brown.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle with 2 more teaspoons of salt and the remaining 2 Tablespoons of rosemary.
Toss well and set aside at room temperature, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking as they cool.
Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed.
Thank you dear Sarah -- it was a lovely gift and once again I was gobsmacked!