Butter Roasted Pecans with Thyme and Cayenne
Trisha ThompsonTrisha Thompson makes a Butter Roasted Pecans recipe in this installment of KitchenDaily's Family Chef series, in which home cooks make recipes from our database and tell you how it went -- what they changed, what they kept and who was in the kitchen helping.
It was Friday night, the fire was roaring, it was beginning to snow, and my husband and I wanted something fancier to nibble with a drink than peanuts out of a can. My older daughter wanted something unexpected to bring along to a dinner party she and her high school friends were putting together (17 is getting very sophisticated). We spied these Butter Roasted Pecans with Thyme and Cayenne and decided to make a double batch -- one with pecans and one with almonds. Because, really, how bad could butter, nuts, herbs, and spices be?
The answer is not bad at all, in fact, exceptionally, deliciously addictive, and ridiculously easy and fast to whip up. The high cost of nuts nowadays is the only hitch, but if you consider these tasty little nuggets a true and proper appetizer, as I do, then six bucks for a pound of pecans or almonds or walnuts or cashews is really not much and goes a long way. Plus, even before we tasted the nuts, I knew we were in good hands because I noticed that the recipe comes from Kemp Minifie, a name I remember from Gourmet magazine (who could forget a name this delightfully Dickensian!), who credits the inspiration for the dish to the late, great novelist and food writer Laurie Colwin, a personal heroine of mine.
We made one substitution and one addition to the recipe, neither of which I think Kemp or Laurie would mind. We used fresh rosemary instead of fresh thyme, because this early in the winter I haven't yet killed off my summertime rosemary plant, while the thyme is long gone. And we added a couple of teaspoons of dark brown sugar to the spice mix, figuring that it would balance the cayenne and salt and make the mixture into more of a glaze when the nuts went into the oven. It worked -- they came out herbal-spicy-salty-sweet shellacked. We ate them warm; it was sublime. Meanwhile, at the teen dinner party, Madeline's friends liked the nuts so much that two of them showed up at our door the following afternoon, hungry for "a snack." We knew what they wanted. Luckily there were some nuts left.
Make the Butter Roasted Pecans with Thyme and Cayenne.
Trisha Thompson is co-owner of Small Batch Books, a private publisher of memoirs, commemorative books, and other works. She also blogs about teens at The Faster Times. She lives and cooks (in small batches) with her husband, Fred, and her daughters Madeline (17) and Eleanor (14).
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