Pecans

 


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Every fall pecans are so abundant that searching for a newer recipe becomes somewhat of a challenge and just when giving up seems the right thing to do. An old favorite appears on the scene and away goes all thoughts of trying anything newer than an old standard recipe that has been around for decades.

Pecans are a great snack food when they are fried in some butter and then coated with sea salt, or Cajun spices or jalapeno salt. For the carb or cholestrol conscious a low-fat margarine or butter product is substituted and for the low-salt or no-salt eaters a salt-free herbal product can be substituted.

Pecan Snacks

2-lbs pecans, shelled
1-stick butter, melted
1-tsp sea salt, or Cajun seasoning, or jalapeno salt

Directions: Melt the butter, or low-fat butter in a cast iron or a non-stick skillet stirring frequently until the pecans are well coated with the butter for four or five minutes. Remove the pecans from the heat and drain them on a paper towel. Place them on a rectangular baking sheet and season them while they are still warm. Let the pecans cool and put them in an airtight container for storage.

Cajun Seasoning
2-Tlbs. paprika
1-tsp. cayenne pepper
½-tsp. salt
1-tsp herbs, (parsley flakes and dried thyme)
½-tsp. garlic powder
½-tsp. black pepper

Jalapeno Seasoning

1-Tlb sea salt
1-teaspoon, jalapeno powder ( can be ordered in a two-ounce shaker at www.bulkfoods.com)
½-tsp. garlic powder
½-tsp black pepper

Directions: Combine the ingredients and store in a plastic bag or an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Chicken breasts are coated with ground pecans for an elegant entrée and served with side dishes of wild rice and honey-mustard brussel sprouts. For the salt restrictive a salt-free or light salt is substituted. For the eggless, an egg product is substituted.

Pecan Crusted Chicken Breasts

2-1/2-cups vegetable oil
½-lb pecans (put into a food processor or a blender until the pecans are of a ground texture)
2-cups flour
1-Tlb. of seasoning salt
½-tsp. salt
1-large frying chicken cut into 8-pieces (washed and dried well
3-eggs beaten and 3-tablespoons of milk combined to make an egg wash
Directions: Soak the chicken in the egg wash for fifteen minutes. Combine the flour, the seasoning salt and the ground pecans. Heat the vegetable oil on medium heat. Roll the chicken pieces in the seasoned flour and ground pecan mixture. Cook the chicken on both sides for six minutes or until golden brown. Drain the pieces on a paper towel and serve while still hot. Wild rice: cook according to package directions. Brussel sprouts: boil in salted water for five minutes and drain. Honey-mustard sauce: In a saucepan, combine a brown mustard with some honey and heat on medium-low until the mixture is well combined stirring frequently. Pour the mixture over the brussel sprouts.

Green grapes, slices of apples, celery and pecans are the main ingredients for a Texas style Waldorf salad. A mayonnaise dressing gives the crunchy ingredients an added creamy texture. For the carb and the cholestrol conscious a low-fat or light mayonnaise is substituted and for the sugar restrictive, a sugar-free product can be substituted.

Texas Pecan Salad
2-cups diced peeled red apples
1-cup red grapes cut in half
½-cups chopped pecans (coarsely chopped
½-cup whipped topping

Directions: Combine apples, celery, grapes and pecans. Mix the salad dressing and whipped topping and mix into the combined ingredients. Serve chilled.

Filled with pecans, divinity is a thick and rich nougat type candy enjoyed during the winter holidays. The recipe below is from the nineteen-fifties.

Divinity
(Makes 4 dozen)
2-2/3-cups sugar
2/3-cup of light corn syrup
½- cup of water
1-tsp. of vanilla
2-egg whites
2/3-cup chopped pecans.

Directions: Stir sugar, corn syrup and water over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Cook without stirring to 260 degrees on a candy thermometer (or until a small amount of the mixture dropped into very cold water forms a small ball. In a mixing bowl, beatthe egg whites until stiff peaks form. Continue beating while pouring hot syrup in a thin stream into the egg whites. Add vanilla beat until the mixture holds its shape and becomes slightly dull. Fold in the pecans and spoon the mixture from the tip of a buttered spoon onto wax paper. Let set and then store the divinity in an airtight container.

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