Recipes for Shabbat
Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't.
Luckily for my family, I'm always up for being nuts, especially if those nuts are pecans. The word "pecan" is an Algonquin Indian word that was used to describe "all nuts requiring a stone to crack." Because wild pecans were readily available, many Native American tribes used them as a major source for food source during autumn. So I figured, what better time than now to share my favorite recipes. I try to use pecans as often as possible when a recipe is not nut specific and as always, I found really great factiods while I was researching pecans for this article. Pecans are available year around and you'll find them vacuum-packed in jars, sealed in plastic bags, or packed in cans. For the freshest and most flavorful pecans, choose whole ones in the shell; look for nuts that are heavy for their size and don't rattle when shaken. There shouldn't be any cracks or holes in the shells. When you buy shelled pecans always check the sale by date on the bag or container. Shelled pecans absorb odors and can turn rancid quickly. They should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer in a sealed container. Pecans freeze very well, so if you buy more than you can use right away you can store them in the freezer for up to 4 or 5 months.
Unshelled pecans may be stored for about 3 months at room temperature. The concern that pecans have a rather high fat content is more than offset by the fact that they're a good source of potassium, thiamin, zinc, copper, magnesium, phosphorous, niacin, folic acid, iron, and vitamin B6, as well as a good source of fiber. It's been found recently that pecans may actually help to lower blood cholesterol levels Pecans are associated with the traditional pecan pie or Louisiana's famous pralines, but they're also used in a wide variety of other recipes, from cookies and to salads and main dishes. So get out of your rut and go nuts and get started trying some of my favorite pecan recipes.
Preheat oven to 300. Place the pecans in colander and rinse them for 1
minute with very hot water. Let the nuts drain very well. While the nuts
are draining cover a jelly-roll pan with
aluminum foil and transfer the nuts to the
prepared pan. In a bowl combine the oil, brown sugar, soy sauce, salt and Tabasco sauce. Mix well and then drizzle the
sauce over the nuts and toss gently with a wooden spoon to make sure the
nuts are coated with the mixture. Bake the nuts
for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until
they are browned. Makes 1 pound. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.
In small electric mixing bowl combine the butter and cream cheese. Mix on medium speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed (1-2 minutes). By hand, stir in the dates, pecans and white wine. Mix until combined Makes 1 cup. This recipe can be doubled or tripled and is great with bagels, crackers or nut bread.
CLASSIC PECAN PIE (dairy or pareve)
Preheat oven to 350. Place eggs in a medium
mixing bowl and whisk lightly. Add the sugar, corn syrup, vanilla and
melted butter. Stir the mixture with a wooden
spoon to combine well. Stir in the pecans. Pour filling into the
prepared unbaked pie crust. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until
toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Serves 6
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl combine the corn syrup, light brown sugar and melted butter. Mix well and set aside. In another bowl lightly beat the eggs together and then add them to sugar mixture. Mix well and then add the lemon juice, flour and lemon rind. Stir to combine. Fold the pecans into the mixture and then pour the mixture into the uncooked pie crust. Bake about 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Serves 6 to 8.
In a bowl beat the cream cheese until it is soft. Add the mayonnaise, orange juice, lemon juice, sugar and salt. Beat until well blended. Stir in the pecans. Cover the mixture and chill for at least 1 hour. Serve with fruit or crisp salad greens. Makes 1 1/3 cups. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.
© Eileen Goltz 2002