Pecans Rank High Because of Their Versatility

The pecan’s versatility is such that it can be used in pesto.  Using pecans as an added ingredient in a pesto recipe adds an interesting flavor.  Pecans will also enhance the overall nutritional value of any dish because of all the different vitamins and minerals found in them.

Chipotle Pecan Pesto uses pecans instead of pine nuts.  To view recipe go to http://www.delishplan.com/chipotle-pecan-pesto/

Use pecans instead of pine nuts.

Chipotle Pecan Pesto

 

What is pesto?  A sauce that is made with basil, pine nuts, olive oil, and grated Parmesan cheese blended together and served hot or cold over pasta, fish, or meatPesto originated around the 16th century in the northern Italy.  The name Pesto comes from the Genoese word pestâ.   Pestâ means to pound or to crush.

Here is a list of different ways to use pesto:

  • On Bread – spread  a generous amount of your favorite pesto on a slice of your favorite type of bread.   Sprinkle with some fresh Parmesan cheese and broil until toasted and warm.
  • Dip – make vegetables more exciting when you serve them with a delicious pesto dipping sauce. This goes especially well with grilled veggies during the summer.
  • As a Sandwich Spread – instead of mayo on your sandwich, try pesto.
  • Marinade or Meat Sauce – marinade meat in pesto with  some kind of acid (vinegar or citrus juice) and a little extra olive oil added to thin it out.
  • Pizza Sauce – rather than a marinara, use pesto as a sauce for your next pizza.
  •  Green Beans -toss 1 pound steamed green beans with 3 tablespoons pesto and the juice of 1/2 lemon.

 

 

 

 

2015 Pecan Harvest Begins

Our pecan orchard is in warp speed this time of year gathering our fresh Louisiana pecans signifying the start of the  2015 pecan harvest at Little Eva Plantation.  Within the last previous two to three weeks the orchard floor has been cleaned of many broken limbs clearing the ground beneath each tree which enable the pecan harvesters

Pecan harvester picking pecans at Little Eva Plantation.

Pecan harvester picking pecans at Little Eva Plantation.

to not miss a pecan as these machines go around and around each tree gathering nuts beneath the trees.  Each variety is  typically harvested  individually. – Candy variety is an earlier maturing nut and is usually always harvested first.  Then comes Elliott, Desirable, Branch, Stuart, Caddo, Sumner and Melrose.

When the pecan harvester’s bin is full, the nuts are dumped into a pecan wagon.

Pecan wagon loaded and ready to head to the cleaning plant.

Pecan wagon loaded and ready to head to the cleaning plant.

Next stop is the cleaning plant.  Once the filled pecan wagon arrives at the cleaning plant, the nuts are dumped into a pit and are then carried by conveyors and various elevators up and down and around and through the dirt machine where dirt clods and large sticks and other debris are removed and blown into our trash trailer.   Next the pecans make their way to the Savage in-shell color sorter.  Savage Sorters employ high-resolution color cameras and highly specialized color-sorting software to identify and separate stick-tight nuts and other light debris. In a split second the machine uses a small blast of air to separate them out from the good-product flow. The sorting criteria is completely adjustable on the simple-to-use touch-screen computer terminal. Even novice computer users can learn the simple tasks involved.  After color sorting, the pecans proceed to the Savage pecan sizer where they are sized and then bagged in bulk bags and labeled as to variety, size, date of harvest, and what section of orchard the bagged pecans came from.  Filled super bags are then moved into the warehouse.  Next week I will blog about the cracking and shelling process.

 

 

 

Famous Pecan Pie

Why is this a famous pecan pie?  The name “famous” for this pecan pie is named such as this was a recipe from Lindy Boggs.  Today is the two year anniversary of Lindy’s death.  In 1976 Mrs Boggs became the first woman to preside over a Democratic National Convention.  Three years earlier, she had become the first woman from Louisiana elected to the House.  Lindy succeeded her husband in the House of Representatives after he was killed in a plane crash.  Lindy Boggs went on to serve nine terms on Capitol Hill, notably as a champion of women’s rights.  She died July 27, 2013 at the age of 97.

Ingredients

2 frozen pie crusts

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 cup white Karo syrup

3 tablespoons melted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

Pinch each cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt

2 cups shelled pecans

Directions

Take crusts from freezer while preparing other ingredients.  When thawed prick edges and bottom.  Brush with butter.

Slightly beat eggs.  Stir in sugar, butter, white syrup, pinch of salt.  Beat.  Add vanilla, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon.  Gently stir in pecans.  Place in pie shells.

Bake in 350°F oven for 40 to 50 minutes. (Second pie can be frozen if you need only one pie.)  Yield: 12-16 servings.

Famous Pecan Pie - Absolutely delicious!

Famous Pecan Pie – Absolutely delicious!

 

 

Roasted Or Toasted Pecans

Roasted pecans add flavor and crunch.
Toasted pecans add flavor and crunch.

Toasted pecans add flavor and crunch.

Some pecan recipes call for roasted pecans while a different recipe may call for toasted pecans.  Roasted or toasted pecans – What is the difference?  Toasting pecans before you bake them in a recipe brings out all the best flavors of the nuts.  Applying heat releases the oils in the pecans, which in turn intensifies their flavor, adds crispness, and tones down any bitterness.  Many times pecans bought in grocery store baking sections are dark and when tasted do have a bitter taste as they may not be fancy quality or be a couple years old.  For recipes that feature nuts, toasted nuts will add a lot of flavor with just a few extra minutes of effort.  Toasted nuts can also be used to garnish desserts. And, they are great for sprinkling over ice cream or yogurt.  Even try adding toasted nuts to salads or pasta!

Follow these simple steps for perfectly toasted pecans that will bring new life to your baking recipes.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper and arrange the shelled pecans in a single layer .
  3. Bake the nuts, stirring once after five minutes and then again after another five minutes during cooking for even toasting.  Smaller nuts will toast faster than larger ones so adjust cooking time accordingly.  While the nuts will become lightly browned, the best gauge for proper toasting is smell.  When the nuts have become fragrant, they are ready.
  4. Once the nuts have finished toasting, transfer then to a plate or a towel to cool.  Try to use a cooling surface large enough to allow the nuts to spread out in a single layer.  Leaving the nuts on the hot pan will cause them to continue cooking.  Allow the pecans to cool to room temperature before using them in a baking recipe.  Using nuts that are too warm can affect the dough or batter you’re making.
  5. After nuts have cooled, use them immediately in your recipe.  The flavor of toasted nuts will dissipate over time so any unused nuts can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to a week.

Now let’s turn to roasting pecans.  Roasting nuts involve the addition of an oil to them.  It may be butter, margarine, olive oil or vegetable oil.  The added oil can enable sugar, salt, and various spices to cling to the nuts for lots of different flavors.  From sweet and  salty to hot and spicy.  Check out Sugar and Spice Pecans to try for your next celebration.  I can taste them now!

Transplanting Bucket Grown Pecan Trees

This gallery contains 3 photos.

In addition to the commercial importance of pecans, pecan trees add much to the beauty of the home or farm.  Pecan trees should be planted in solid blocks for commercial production.  For home use they can be planted along borders, ditch banks, fences, or in the lawn at least forty feet from buildings. Container grown […]

Spring Time Cream Cheese Pecan Pie Recipe

This version of the pecan pie has three delicious layers that make for a taste tantalizing experience.  Celebrate Spring time tomorrow with a delicious cream cheese pecan pie!  Try it and let us know what you thought…

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups pecan pieces (chopped)
  • 1 cup light corn syrup (Karo)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten well with a fork
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine the cream cheese and 1/3 cup sugar in a bowl.  Beat at high speed with an electric mixer until fluffy.  Add 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Blend well.  Pour into the pie shell.  Sprinkle the pecans evenly over the cream cheese mixture.

Combine the corn syrup, 1/4 cup sugar, 3 beaten eggs and vanilla, mixing well. Carefully pour mixture over the pecan layer. Bake at 375°F for 35 to 40 minutes or until set. Allow to cool completely, then refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours before serving.

Spring Time Cream Cheese Pecan Pie Recipe

Spring Time Cream Cheese Pecan Pie Recipe

 

National Pecan Pie Day

National Pecan Pie Day is annually celebrated on July 12.  With that being said everyone needs to be sure they have shelled pecans on hand to make this delicious dessert.

What is pecan pie?  Wikipedia.org defines pecan pie as a pie made primarily with corn syrup and pecan nuts.  Variations may include white or brown sugar, sugar syrup, molasses, maple syrup, or honey.  It is popularly served at holiday meals and is also considered a specialty of  Southern U.S. cuisine. Most pecan recipes for this pie include salt and vanilla as flavorings. Chocolate and bourbon whiskey are other popular additions to the recipe.  Pecan pie is often served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. 

Pecan pie is actually French in origin.  The first American pecan pies were baked by French immigrants living in New Orleans.  Many years later, the Karo company popularized this creation with recipes that called for the company’s corn syrup as one of the ingredients.  The recipe below is simple to prepare so try it and let us know how it turned out!

 

Happy Pecan Pie Day

Happy Pecan Pie Day

 

 


Christmas Is Coming Fast In The Pecan House

The way the pecan house phone has been ringing this week has reminded me of how busy last year was the week of Christmas!!!  If this week is any indication of what is about to break loose for pecan gift orders I better call the North Pole to see if Santa can send me some of his elves to help us out.  I would even offer to rent them from him – LOL!   The ladies that work in our pecan store and packaging building are busy from the time they get to work until the lights go out when they leave.  I have named them my “Pecan Elves” !

It is very important to get your pecan orders placed to ensure availability.  Once our stash of scrumptious fresh pecans, pecan candies, pecan pralines, and pecan gift tins are depleted, customers that have waited too long to get their orders in will be disappointed to hear ” Sorry we are unable to fill your pecan order because we are SOLD OUT!”

 

Bye for now – gotta go get paper work ready for ship outs tomorrow…..