Continuing this month's "appetizer" theme, bring a batch of these along with last week's suggested Rosemary Walnuts.
SWEET & SPICY PECANS
These nuts are first sautéed and then lightly toasted to crisp perfection. Remember to save some for your guests!
Yield: 3 Cups
3 Tablespoons butter
3 cups pecan halves
½ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika *
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ cup cider vinegar
salt to taste
Set oven rack on middle level. Preheat oven to 325°F.
Melt butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add pecans and sauté, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes. Cook just until the nuts are lightly browned and begin to smell toasted. Add the brown sugar and continue cooking, still stirring, until the pecans are evenly coated and lightly caramelized.
Combine spices (cumin, chili powder, paprika, cinnamon and nutmeg) in a small bowl. Stir spice mixture into the pecans until evenly coated. Sprinkle cider vinegar over the nut mixture and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until all liquid has evaporated. Add salt to taste.
Spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast, stirring once or twice, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
* We prefer to use Smoked Spanish Paprika in this recipe, but the difference is a subtle one. It will be fine with what ever kind of paprika you have on hand.
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