Thursday, January 3, 2008

Rosemary Pecans



Some memories are like migrating birds and only return at a certain time of year. When Christmas approaches, I remember the excellent rosemary pecans served by friends in Lincoln, Nebraska. Thoroughly mashed fresh rosemary and cooking at low heat are the keys to success. Try them with vanilla ice cream.



Ingredients:

2 pounds pecan halves
¼ pound unsalted butter
1 heaping tablespoon of coarse sea salt
1 branch of fresh rosemary
1/3 cup brown sugar

Equipment:

1 heavy 5 quart sauté pan
1 commercial sheet tray
1 mortar and pestle
1 chopping knife
1 wooden spoon
Paper towels

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 225 F

2. Melt butter in pan over low heat; do not allow butter to burn

3. Strip rosemary leaves from branch, remove stalks or dry leaves; chop leaves

4. Mix chopped rosemary leaves and salt in mortar and pestle; mash into a green powder/paste

5. After butter is completely melted and pan is an even heat, dump pecans in pan and slowly stir until all nuts are completed covered with butter; keep nuts evenly distributed in the pan; continuing stirring slowly for several minutes; all nuts should be hot

6. Sprinkle rosemary salt over all the nuts; then continue to stir until the salt is distributed thoroughly

7. Sprinkle sugar very slowly over nuts, stirring continuously to distribute the sugar evenly; continue to stir for 1 minute after all the sugar has been added to ensure it is mixed in thoroughly; WARNING: after adding sugar, do NOT leave the pan on the heat without stirring because the sugar will melt and burn

8. Transfer nuts to sheet tray and bake at low heat for 20 minutes

9. Remove nuts from oven and let cool on paper towels

7 comments:

Kou Jie said...

Hello AAL,

Pecans are hard to come by where I live. Will walnuts do in a pinch?

Rgds,
Kou Jie


--The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.

-- Herbert Spencer

Atworth said...

Years ago I had delicious walnuts at the Wisteria Tea House in Taipei. I suspect they were cooked in lard instead of butter, and they were not seasoned with rosemary. I see no reason why you could substitute walnuts for pecans. Ju ni hao yun.

Atworth said...

To clarify: yes, walnuts should be fine.

Emily Ginko said...

hi atworth:

i served your pecans at a party tonight and quite a few people commented on them (favorably!) I will definitely pass your recipe on.

trilliumstricycles said...

Wait, I'm confused... is the rosemary mashed or chopped? There is a big difference ya know.

Elsie

Atworth said...

Elsie:

Chopping the rosemary first helps elimate the stringy bits which sometimes escape being completely mashed. Feel free the skip the chopping but spend more time mashing.

Atworth

Atworth said...

Elsie:

Chopping the rosemary first helps elimate the stringy bits which sometimes escape being completely mashed. Feel free the skip the chopping but spend more time mashing.

Atworth