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Spicy Caramelized Pecans
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A deep frying thermometer will indicate when the oil is ready. (350° F.)
Make sure the nuts are well coated and the sugar is allowed to melt into them.

Spicy Caramelized Pecans

Serves 4

The nuts have a sweet and spicy taste, a delicious combination. We toss them over green salads, especially the Spinach and Blue Cheese Salad, for flavor and texture. They are also tasty in our Savory Squash Soup, or to savor on their own.

Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups peanut oil
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
Method
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil to 350° F. (A deep-frying thermometer can tell when the proper temperature has been reached. Or use a 1-inch bread cube — it should sizzle and turn golden brown in about 60 seconds when the temperature is correct.)
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan bring 1 quart of water to a boil. Add the pecans in 2 separate batches, and boil for 2 minutes. Drain in a strainer, shaking off all excess water. Sprinkle the salt and cayenne pepper over the nuts and coat with confectioners' sugar, a little at a time, allowing the sugar to melt into the pecans. Toss the nuts by shaking the strainer, adding a little more sugar each time, until all the sugar is used and the nuts are coated. Do not use hands or a spoon to toss. The nuts should have a glaze of sugar.
  3. Carefully add the nuts to the heated oil, keeping the oil at 350° F. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon to a baking tray to cool.
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