I love cooking and I usually cook to taste, so recipes are difficult to share. A touch of this and a touch of that is my usual explanation when asked for quantities. I test along the way and add a spice here, more salt there. In this I take after my grandmother who never measured anything in her life.
But here goes my best effort.
One of my favorite recipes is for roasted butter pecans. I make tons of them during the holiday season and give something around 15 tins to editors, friends and family. I generally make a huge dent of the Lions Club annual pecan sale. They love me.
I also take them to every family party. I think I would be barred without them. And every year I take several pounds to RWA National which makes my room very popular.
The recipe is ridiculously simple for the subsequent rewards, but it does take some time and attention. And since Texas is a great source of pecans, I’m delighted to include the recipe in the Fillies’ collection.
Ingredients: pound and a half of pecans. One and a half stick of salted butter. Salt.
I usually roast about a pound and a half of pecans in a shallow cake-size baking pan. You don’t want more than that in any one pan because you want to coat them all with layers of butter and salt. Did I tell you they are fattening? Frightfully fattening? And addictive?
But I digress and here’s the recipe.
Turn oven on to no more than 200 degrees. Place pecans in the baking pan along with a three quarters of a stick of butter. Once butter is melted, move the pecans around until coated in butter. Add salt. Make sure every pecan is butter and lightly salted. Bake for forty minutes in 200 degree oven, then add the rest of the stick of butter, tossing the pecans until once more coated. Salt lightly again. Bake at very low temperature for another thirty minutes or forty minutes. Add just a little more butter and salt, reduce heat to warm and let sit for thirty more minutes.
By adding butter in stages, it seeps into the pecans and bakes inside.
Taste frequently. (Alas, keep a larger sized pair of jeans or slacks handy.)
When finished, dry pecans on paper towels.
Patience and continuous stirring is the secret here. I usually take two hours per batch. If you use a higher oven temperature, they will burn.
Enjoy and be prepared to be invited to parties more often.