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I'd like to discuss something that is something of a controversy in my home: the pecan. From the way it is pronounced to what should be done with it, this little nut seems to be one thing that my husband and I can never agree on. I say "peh-kahn ", but my husband insists on "pee-can", which frankly, grosses me out. In fact, anytime anyone I know says "pee-can", I always hear that old joke play in my head:
"Confucius say woman who cooks carrots and peas [sic pees] in the same pot very unsanitary". Is it still okay to tell Confucius jokes? I don't even know. Regardless, gross.
It's not just the pronunciation of pecan that is a point of contention, but how to consume the pecan, as well. My husband prefers the classic: that ooey, gooey, sickeningly sweet southern tradition of the Pecan Pie. My teeth hurt just thinking about it. Drenched in syrups and sugars, I don't understand why the pecans are even a part of the Pecan Pie. Packing peanuts would serve the same texture-adding purpose.
Myself, I like a lighter touch with my pecans. Just a little toast to bring out their warm, nutty flavor, and a little bit of added spice to accent their natural richness is all the pecan needs. This is how the sweet and smoky chili pecan was born.
- 4 cups pecan halves
- 1/4 cup butter melted
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Chili powder
- 1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Cayenne
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- Toss pecans in melted butter. Add the brown sugar, chili powder, smoked paprika and cayenne, and toss one more time to coat.
- Spread the mixture onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, and bake for 20 minutes.