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BOURBON-ORANGE PECANS

  • December 13, 2012 - 3:53 PM

BOURBON-ORANGE PECANS

Makes 3 cups.

Note: Created as a nibble to go along with an Old-Fashioned. From "Pecans," by Kathleen Purvis.

• 1/2 c. sugar

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1 tbsp. grated orange zest

• 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

• 2 large egg whites

• 3 tbsp. bourbon

• 3 c. pecan halves

Directions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix the sugar, salt, orange zest and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.

Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form (they should curl over when the beaters are lifted). Beat in the bourbon.

Fold in the pecans with a rubber spatula until well-coated. Add the sugar mixture and fold to coat well.

Spread the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. The coating will foam up but will stir down, and the pecans will become crisp and will separate as they bake.

Remove from the oven. Cool and break apart the individual nuts. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Nutrition information per 2 tablespoons:

Calories 100 Fat 9 g Sodium 54 mg Saturated fat 1 g

Carbohydrates 6 g Calcium 9 mg

Protein 1 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1/2 bread/starch, 2 fat.

PECAN-STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS

Serves 4.

Note: Either the herb flavor or the garlic flavor of Boursin will work for this dish. From "Pecans," by Kathleen Purvis.

• 1/3 c. Boursin-style cheese (see Note)

• 1/4 c. toasted, chopped pecans

• 1 tbsp. chopped green onion tops

• 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 1 tbsp. unsalted butter

• 1 tbsp. vegetable oil

Directions

Combine cheese, pecans and green onions in small bowl.

Place chicken breasts on a work surface. Slide a knife point horizontally along the thickest part of the breast, making a pocket without cutting all the way through. Divide the cheese and pecan mixture between the breasts, filling the pockets.

Bring chicken breast edges together and insert a toothpick through to hold the pocket closed. Sprinkle each breast with salt and pepper.

Combine butter and oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until butter is melted. Add chicken, top-down. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes on each side, turning carefully with tongs. Remove from pan. Cover and let stand for 1 minute before serving.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 333 Fat 24 g Sodium 186 mg Saturated fat 9 g

Carbohydrates 2 g Calcium 39 mg

Protein 28 g Cholesterol 104 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 4 lean meat, 2 1/2 fat.

MICROWAVE PECAN BRITTLE

Makes about 2 dozen pieces.

Note: Baking soda gives this a lighter, crispier texture than boiled-sugar brittles. Make sure you have the pan prepared and waiting before you start because as soon as you add the soda, it needs to be spread quickly. From "Pecans," by Kathleen Purvis.

• Nonstick cooking spray

• 1/2 c. light corn syrup

• 1 c. sugar

• 11/2 c. pecan halves

• 1 tsp. unsalted butter

• 1 tsp. vanilla

• 1/4 tsp. salt

• 1 tsp. baking soda

Directions

Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. (As long as you have the spray out, spray the inside of a 1/2 cup measuring cup, too -- it makes it easier to get the corn syrup out.)

Combine corn syrup and sugar in a 11/2-quart microwave-safe baking dish. Stir until blended. Microwave on high for 4 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in the nuts. (Use oven mitts and handle the dish carefully. It will get hot as you continue to microwave the sugar mixture.)

Return to the microwave and cook for 4 to 6 minutes on high, until sugar mixture is light brown. Stir in butter, vanilla and salt. Blend well. Microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add baking soda, sprinkling it quickly over the hot sugar. Stir gently just until foamy. Quickly pour out onto the prepared baking sheet. Let stand until completely cool. Break into pieces and store in airtight container.

Nutrition information per 1 piece:

Calories 97 Fat 5 g Sodium 82 mg Saturated fat 0 g

Carbohydrates 15 g Calcium 5 mg

Protein 1 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 other carb, 1 fat.

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