Rosemary Pecans

November 9, 2008

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Easy and so, so good you’d better have carryout bags for your guests. The basic recipe works with just about any kind of nuts. Just make sure you don’t burn them. Use your nose. When they start to smell toasty, they’re roasted.

PS You can get Szechuan peppers from mail-order houses like Penzys. Trust me, they’re worth the extra effort.

8 ounces unsalted pecan halves [or English walnuts]
1 T melted sweet butter
1 tsp sweet curry powder
1/4 tsp Szechuan peppers, crushed in a mortar and pestle
1 tsp honey
2 T finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp sea salt or to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degree F. Spread the nuts in one layer in a 9- by 13-inch baking pan and roast until fragrant and beginning to change color, 8 to 10 minutes. In a small saucier over very low heat, melt the butter. Add the curry powder, peppers, honey, and rosemary. Add the warm nuts and salt and toss until thoroughly coated.
Makes 1 1/2 cups.

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Mexican-Style Hot Chocolate Mix

December 19, 2007

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A steaming cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter’s day, instantly, anytime you want it? What a great holiday gift! SAM

1 (2-pound) box instant chocolate milk
1 (1-pound) box confectioner’s sugar
1 (11-ounce) jar nondairy creamer
1 (8-quart) box powdered milk
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

In a large bowl combine all ingredients. Transfer to decorative jars with a note reading: ‘To serve, dissolve 2 heaping tablespoons in 1 cup boiling water and stir with a cinnamon stick.’
Makes 12 half-pint gift jars.

Adapted from Emily’s cookbook: All-American Comfort Food.


Barbecued Pecans

December 18, 2007

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Barbecued pecans make wonderful gifts! They’re easy to make, very transportable, and spread such joy. If you don’t have access to good pecans, you could probably use this same recipe for English walnuts or almonds. SAM

2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons tomato ketchup
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
2 dashes hot pepper sauce
4 cups pecan halves
Sea salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the butter, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, mustard, and Tabasco sauce. Add the pecans and stir to coat. Spread evenly on a heavy baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Spread on paper towels and sprinkle with salt.
Makes 4 half-pint gift jars.

Adapted from Emily’s cookbook: All-American Comfort Food.