January 28, 2011 1:05 PM   Subscribe

My boss just gave me a gallon zip-lock bag full of shelled pecans. I'm guessing there's at least 4 cups of pecans in there. Short of pecan pie, what can I make with them?
posted by msconduct to Food & Drink (31 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Praline pecans!
posted by kmz at 1:09 PM on January 28, 2011

Pecan rolls. Or toast them and use on a spinach salad with dried cranberries and perhaps pear slices.
posted by ChrisHartley at 1:09 PM on January 28, 2011

Pecan Sandies?
posted by SNWidget at 1:09 PM on January 28, 2011

Best answer: Pecan butter.
posted by holgate at 1:11 PM on January 28, 2011

You can candy them for a delicious salad topping by cooking them in a skillet with some balsamic vinegar and brown sugar.
posted by phunniemee at 1:11 PM on January 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

Just as a note, pecans freeze beautifully. I keep a stash on hand at all times for nut crusts (particularly good for cheesecake), brownies, and the ridiculously tasty and easy Rolo Turtles that are all the rage these days.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:13 PM on January 28, 2011 [6 favorites]

Put them on vanilla icecream with maple syrup. Now.
posted by bonobothegreat at 1:15 PM on January 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Pecan-Mushroom Pâté

I made this for holiday guests this year and it was swell. This is the vegan version - if you want you can sub cheese for the yeast, something like a pecorino works. Also good with walnuts. For a fresher bite, add some lemon juice too.

1/2 pound crimini mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely diced,
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
1/4 cup wine
1 tbsp chopped, fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1.5 cups pecans, chopped into small bits
1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Grind up the pecans in food processor. Sauté olive oil, onion, garlic, mushrooms, salt, pepper in pan - deglaze with wine. Add to pecan mixture, process until desired texture. Chill and serve with bread/crackers.
posted by jardinier at 1:16 PM on January 28, 2011

PESTO! and it freezes!
posted by nadawi at 1:19 PM on January 28, 2011

Toast them and put them on salads. They're delicious.
posted by alms at 1:19 PM on January 28, 2011

Pecan squares are easier to make than pecan pie. I made some for xmas and they were awesome.
posted by oceanview at 1:19 PM on January 28, 2011

Toast them lightly. Eat with a crisp apple and some sharp cheese.
posted by pointystick at 1:26 PM on January 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

Spicy candied pecans.
posted by Logic Sheep at 1:28 PM on January 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Pecan cobbler!
posted by linettasky at 1:32 PM on January 28, 2011

They are terrific in salad - candied, yes, or even just toasted for a minute in a skillet, tossing frequently. We have them once every couple weeks in a salad of greens (spinach is good too) with dried cranberries, goat cheese, shreeded carrot and red onion, maybe some grilled chicken, thin sliced apple, and maybe cooked chilled beets if you like them. Delicious.
posted by Miko at 1:33 PM on January 28, 2011

Pecan Chicken
Chicken breasts, pounded
Pecans, finely chopped (food processor)
Sour cream
1/2 stick Butter
2tbsp Olive oil
Oil for cooking

Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan, don't use nonstick. Melt butter and combine with 1/4c mustard and olive oil. Coat chicken breasts with the mustard mixture then coat in pecans. Pan fry.

To make sauce: add equal parts mustard and sour cream to the pan you used for the chicken, stir to combine and scrape in pecan pieces left behind by the chicken.

So much better than plain breaded chicken.
posted by miscbuff at 1:49 PM on January 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Lucky you! Pecan sandies, or pecan cornmeal butter cake!

I have made that pecan sandy recipe before, and it is, hands down, the best EVER. IMHO
posted by elisebeth at 1:54 PM on January 28, 2011

Best answer: I've made these candied nuts for a few years now around the holidays. They are the stuff of office legend and are referred to as "crack nuts" because they're so damn addictive.
posted by StickyC at 2:17 PM on January 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

I had pecan risotto the other night and it was delicious.
posted by jessamyn at 3:01 PM on January 28, 2011

As mentioned above, pecan freeze beautifully. My grandmother in Texas used to give us a gallon or two every year from the tree n her yard. We always had pecans for pecan pie and German chocolate cake. You are lucky. I love pecan bars.
posted by shoesietart at 3:08 PM on January 28, 2011

Oh, without a doubt, candied pecans (like in the link provided by StickyC). I'd add a few points:

(1) Don't feel locked in to this recipe. Experiment to taste. Some people don't like the cayenne/paprika. Add vanilla. Use melted butter instead of egg whites. The whole concept is really flexible.

(2) Buy a bunch of cheap jelly jars. When you're done, put the pecans in the jelly jars and give them away as little gifts. They're an ideal gift: They're really easy, and people LOVE them.

- aj
posted by Alaska Jack at 3:21 PM on January 28, 2011

Best answer: Sweet & Spicy Salad Pecans:
Roughly chop the pecans with a knife.
Put some butter into a pan. Melt.
Add an equal part of brown sugar.
Add some salt and cayenne pepper and a dash or two of worchester sauce or soy sauce.
Add pecans, and toss till they're coated and browned.
Remove from pan and cool.
Put on salads.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 3:28 PM on January 28, 2011

Crack pecans but don't shell them, cut some cheese, chill a bottle of wine and invite friends over.
posted by leigh1 at 3:32 PM on January 28, 2011

Best answer: I live in Texas now so I feel I have some authority to tell you the real way to candy pecans.

- Make simple syrup in roughly a 1-1 water to white sugar ratio or a little thicker. I don't worry about the proportions too much, I go by consistency. Boil it until it has thickened up and just coats a spoon. Lower it to a simmer at that point and continue to add water as you go if the mixture starts to get too thick or hardens. Keep minding your heat, don't let it boil over.

- Fill a pot or tall-sided fry pan with two inches of oil, heat the oil to about 375, well under smoke point but quite hot.

- Take a handful of pecans and boil them in the syrup for two minutes. They should not brown or change much at this point, you're just getting them full of sugar.

- Drain pecans from syrup and immediately and CAREFULLY lower them into the oil. They will spatter, and a screen is recommended. Fry them for 30 seconds or so, until they barely turn color. Strain them out and lay them on a screen or paper to cool.

- Sprinkle with salt, chili or other spices. Try not to eat them all while you make another batch, and do not get so distracted by how delicious they are that you forget about the batch that's currently frying and you turn around to find a hot exploding sweet pecan mess on your stove.

This is labor intensive but so much better than oven based methods because they're fried and they get perfectly crispy.
posted by slow graffiti at 3:43 PM on January 28, 2011

Channel your inner Stuckey's
posted by Thorzdad at 3:47 PM on January 28, 2011

Coconut-pecan frosting for your German chocolate cake.
posted by jabberjaw at 3:58 PM on January 28, 2011

Chocolate Snowballs. You can use this recipe but add chocolate chips. Yum!,1610,153172-233197,00.html
posted by stray thoughts at 7:55 PM on January 28, 2011

Best answer: Chop them up and add them to tuna salad. Amazingly good!
posted by puckupdate at 5:50 AM on January 29, 2011

My favorite is the extremely simple but yummy frosted pecans. This is the official family recipe:

2 cups of pecans

1 cup sugar
5 tbls water
you can put 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon or 1 1/2 tsp vanilla or both (I prefer it plain).

You stir the sugar into the water over high heat until it "pulls a string" (meaning that as the sugar drips off the spoon, small threads of sugar form from the drips). I nuke the pecans about 45 seconds in the microwave when I think the sugar mixture is about to string. Stir in the pecans, being careful not to burn or overcook the sugar mixture. Separate onto wax paper and let cool.
posted by parkerjackson at 10:29 AM on January 29, 2011

Best answer: Sweet-and-spicy pretzel nut mix. It's amazing. AMAZING. I've made it with a mix of pecans and almonds with much success.
posted by dino might at 11:01 AM on January 29, 2011

Best answer: Maple-Pecan Green Smoothie. Really tasty and fairly healthy, too.
posted by Lexica at 6:44 PM on January 29, 2011

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