Sweet and Spicy Pecans

The food: Sweet and Spicy Toasted Pecans

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The story:

My husband E loves nuts, and buys them in bulk from a shop in Montreal he swears by, called Coconut Maison des Noix. The walnut halves he eats with yogurt and fruit for a mid-morning snack, the whole toasted almonds he eats in a small dish for a mid-evening snack, and we toast the pecans in butter, caramelized sugar, cayenne and salt and pepper, for sprinkling on salads.

The first step is throw some sugar and butter in a frying pan.
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Cook at medium-high heat until butter and sugar melt.
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Keep cooking until sugar begins to brown slightly.
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Add as many pecans as fill the pan in a single layer, stir to coat, and add salt, freshly ground black pepper and several shakes of cayenne pepper.

So much for my future as a hand model.

So much for my future as a hand model.

Continue cooking at medium heat, stirring often, and watching carefully to ensure pecans and the sugar butter mixture brown, but don’t burn.

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Things could get smoky at this point, but keep at it until all the nuts are browned, then take the pan off the heat and let cool.

See the smoke?

See the smoke?

When cooled, store nuts in an airtight container in fridge and use on salads, in sandwiches or eat as a decadent snack. My favourite rationale salad to eat these pecans with is one made with baby spinach and arugula leaves, crumbled ‘fig spread’ goat cheese and a drizzle of lemon oil.
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It’s shown here as a main course salad for one, but once you’ve got the sweet and spicy toasted pecans on hand, the salad makes an impressive looking (and tasting) dish that can be quickly assembled for guests.

P.S. In this blog entry, I tried to emulate food blogger extraordinaire Pioneer Woman though without her awesome photography (and lighting) skills. For fun.

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