Written By: Chef Camorrow Jones
Nuts are a staple in our diets for very good reasons and pecans top the list! Pecans are a large and incredibly delicious nut with a crispy, buttery texture.
They are a great source of protein and fiber which makes them super satisfying option. They can also boast being a good source of other vitamins and minerals, including iron, manganese, and magnesium. These nutrients, among other things, ensure our bodies run smoothly and can support bone development, protect the cardiovascular system, and aid in brain function.
Pecans are a versatile nut that can be an awesome snack enhanced by roasting or utilized in an array of recipes both sweet and savory.
Today, pecans are consumed and grown all over the world! The U.S. remains the top pecan producer, supplying over 80% of the world’s pecans.
Here Are 5 Ways to Cook With Pecans
This New Orleans classic candy is addictive! They are also a great, easy introduction to candy making. You just let everything cook away until it reaches 235 degrees, give the mixture a good stir, let it cool slightly, then scoop it out.
Ingredients You'll Need:
1½ cups brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp light corn syrup
6 Tbsp butter
½ cup evaporated milk
2 cups pecans
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
teaspoon vanilla extract (variation rum extract)
1 Tbsp of Bourbon or Dark Rum (optional)
Line 2 baking sheets with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper sprayed lightly with cooking spray
In large saucepan combine sugars, corn syrup, butter, milk, pecans and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture reaches 238 degrees or “soft ball” stage. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda, vanilla and bourbon/rum (if using).
Stir the mixture rapidly -- and keep stirring until the mixture thickens slightly and becomes cloudy and grainy. The pecans should be floating in the mixture and should no longer sink to the bottom.
Spoon out the mixture onto the prepared pans, working quickly before the candy sets. Allow pralines to cool completely before removing from baking sheets.
Pecan Sticky Buns
What’s the difference between cinnamon rolls and sticky buns? Caramel and pecans! Check out our Cinnamon Bun class and replace the buttermilk icing with a layer of caramel and pecans and place the buns on top to bake. Sticky, sweet, goodness!
Ingredients You'll Need: PECAN CARAMEL SAUCE TOPPING
8 tbsp butter
1 c brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ c heavy cream
pinch of salt
1 c pecans, chopped
Heat a small saucepan over low heat, add the butter, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, heavy cream and a pinch of salt (all the topping ingredients minus the pecans)
Bring to a low boil then reduce heat to low
Whisk on low until the sugar has dissolved, a few minutes
Lightly grease a 9x12 baking pan with butter
Pour the caramel sauce into the pan and sprinkle with pecans
Learn how to make these sticky buns with me on Zoom in a private class with your friends and family. I will coach you through every step of the way - your class will be 100% personalized to your kitchen equipment, your confidence in the kitchen and the ingredients you have on hand.
Pecan "Meat" Tacos
I think everyone is exploring various meat substitutes available and finding the right one can be challenging! But thanks to Tabitha Brown, a great option for tacos exists! Although this does require a bit of planning to soak the pecans, these are worth the effort! Get the recipe here.
Pecan Crème Brûlée
Crème Brulee is quite possibly my favorite dessert! Rich and creamy with a crisp layer of caramelized sugar on top, amazing! This spin on the classic recipe infuses the flavor of roasted pecans into to every creamy bit! This option will quickly become a holiday staple in your kitchens.
Ingredients You'll Need:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup roasted Pecans
½ cup granulated sugar
1 fresh, whole vanilla bean, split lengthwise
5 large egg yolks (take care that no bits of whites are included)
Kettle of boiling water
12 tsp granulated sugar
fresh berries for serving
1. Preheat oven to 325F, with rack on lower middle position.
2. In medium saucepan, combine cream, pecans and sugar, mixing well. Use a small knife to scrape all seeds from vanilla bean, into the saucepan. Once all seeds have been added to saucepan, add the empty vanilla bean into saucepan.
3. Over medium heat, stir until sugar completely dissolves and the creamy mixture comes to a simmer. Cover pan and reduce heat to lowest setting. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, uncover, and remove the empty bean and any other pieces of the bean. Set aside to let cool about 10 minutes.
4. In medium bowl, whisk yolks until well blended. Very carefully and in a very slow stream, whisk in the hot cream mixture into the yolks, just to combine.
5. Divide custard evenly among six individual ramekins (3/4 cup ramekins.) Place ramekins in a glass 9x13 baking dish. Pour enough of the boiling water into the pan to go halfway up the sides of ramekins. Place baking dish in oven and bake about 35 minutes. Custards should be almost set in the center when pan is gently shaken.
6. Remove ramekins from baking pan and let cool to room temp. Chill in fridge for up to 2 days; a minimum of 3 hours.
7. When ready to serve, sprinkle 2 tsp sugar evenly over each chilled custard. Work a blowtorch over one custard at a time. Move flame quickly back and forth over the sugar topping until it reaches desired caramel appearance. Repeat with other custards. Serve immediately with fresh berries.
This savory application for pecans is a must for weeknight meals! Pecans add a nice crunch especially when combined with panko.
Ingredients You'll Need:
1 ¼ cups pecans
¾ cup panko bread crumbs
4 teaspoons garlic powder
4 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon water
½ cup all-purpose flour
4 6-8 ounces tilapia filets
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
In the food processor, grind pecans until they resemble coarse meal. In a shallow dish combine ground pecans, panko, garlic powder, paprika, salt, thyme, oregano, cayenne pepper, and black pepper.
In a second shallow dish, place flour. In a third shallow dish, beat together eggs and water.
Pat tilapia fillets dry and dredge them in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess. Dip fillets in the egg mixture and then dredge in the pecan and bread crumbs mixture, pressing the coating onto the fillets.
In a large nonstick skillet heat the butter and oil over medium heat. Place two filets in skillet and cook 4 to 6 minutes per 1/2-inch of thickness or until flesh is opaque and flaky, turning once halfway through cooking time.
Repeat with remaining filets. Serve with lemon wedges.
Recipe courtesy of midwestliving.com
Source used: Nuts.com
Learn how to cook a recipe with pecans with me on Zoom in a private class with your friends and family. I will coach you through every step of the way - your class will be 100% personalized to your kitchen equipment, your confidence in the kitchen and the ingredients you have on hand. Here are some of my favorite classes right now:
Fēst, pronounced 'feast', is a collective of Chefs, Pastry Chefs and Sommeliers who teach guided, interactive and completely customizable classes to cooking-curious people of all skill levels around the world.