Roasting pecans is like roasting pumpkin seeds: You never know how easy it is until you sit down and do it. And after you taste them, you'll want to open up a toasted nut cart to spread the joy.
Your first job is to procure local pecans. If you stop by the Bad Seed downtown farmer's market tonight between 4 and 8 p.m., you can can get foraged pecans from Grandview, or you can buy organic pecans online from Missouri Pecan Growers. A half-pound is a stocking stuffer; a full pound is a good starting point for gifts.
for walnuts to create pumpkin-spice, whiskey pecans. But good pecans
require very little seasoning to be delicious -- you can make a big
impression with just a light coating of butter and coarse salt.
You have two options for cooking: either roasting them in an oven or toasting them in a saute pan.
is a good option because you can keep an eye on whether the pecans are
getting too done, while also making small batches to find out which
seasoning recipes and flavors you like the best. Keep in mind that the
pecans continue to cook slightly after you take them off the heat.
If you go the oven route, pre-heat it to 350 degrees. Spread the seasoned peacans out on a baking tray or pyrex pan. Depending on your oven and the number of pecans you're making, they'll need between eight and 15 minutes to cook. You'll smell when they're getting done and the nuts will turn a deeper shade of brown.
[Image via Flickr: xbobmx]