When I go to Europe, I always take some roasted pecans with me to give to friends. Roast the nuts with a little salt at a low temperature so that they do not burn. If you are going to add the pecans to another recipe, you may wish to omit the salt, but be sure to include it if you want to make the southern classic, butter pecan ice cream (just fold the nuts into your favorite vanilla ice cream recipe). Both salted and sugared nuts are set out at the myriad parties of the holiday season in Charleston.

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups pecan halves
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon salt (optional)
  • cayenne pepper or hot red pepper flakes, soy sauce, ground ginger, honey, or amontillado sherry (optional)

Method

Preheat the oven to 325°. Spread the pecan halves around on a heavy baking sheet or in the bottom of a roasting pan and bake for 15 minutes. Add the butter, the salt, and any of the other seasonings to the pan, stirring well to coat the nuts. Bake until the nuts are richly browned, 15 to 30 minutes more. Remove them from the oven and stir well again. Cool, then store in airtight containers.

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