Capital Cooking at Thanksgiving!

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Welcome once more to our new blog! This is the beginning of something beautiful.

Today we produced some stunning little pecan pies for Thanksgiving. Although an American tradition, it seems to have taken off over here (as if we needed another excuse to stuff ourselves with food in the run-up to Christmas!) – as anyone with tastebuds will tell you, with good reason. Just have a look at today’s offering!

Fresh mini #pecanpie! Happy #Thanksgiving everyone!

A post shared by Capital Cooking (@capital_cooking) on

[From our Instagram profile: http://instagram.com/capital_cooking – take a look!]

But that’s not all. Thoroughly autumnal in taste, and indisputably all-American – they naturally grow in the Mississippi basin, from Mexico up to the Great Lakes – pecans take pride of place in this week’s sumptuous pecan pies – recipe below. They’re wonderful ingredients in much more than just pies, though. This week, therefore, in honour of Thanksgiving we take the noble pecan as our theme, and without further ado hereby present: Numerous Other Things You Can Do With Pecans Besides Make Them Into Pies! – or NOTYCDWPBMTIP, for a short and memorable acronym.

We present to you a selection of the finest recipes both sweet and savoury, gleaned painstakingly from the globe’s foremost food blogs.

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First things first: although our own recipe is of course a closely-guarded secret, this one from Jamie Oliver looks almost as good!

Bourbon pecan tart

Sweet pastry filled with treacly nuts and a sprinkling of cinnamon.

Beautiful pecans and wicked bourbon whiskey molasses make this quintessentially Southern American dessert out of this world.

Ingredients

1 x quantity sweet pastry, (see sweet pastry recipe)
450 g pecan nuts
3 large eggs, preferably free-range or organic
175 g golden caster sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
100 ml molasses or black treacle
50 g unsalted butter, melted
50 ml bourbon whiskey
vanilla ice cream, to serve
Win a dinner for 4 at Jamie’s Italian

This recipe is from Jamie’s America.

Method

Thanks to the existence of the mighty Mississippi River, there are loads of beautiful bayous right across the state of Louisiana (these are basically streams or creeks, but they’re not like any streams or creeks I’ve seen in Britain). Louisiana bayous have a sort of wild, swampy charm about them that I love. Wild pecan trees grow along the banks, so there’s no shortage of this delicious nut. Another ingredient. Louisiana has in abundance is molasses, thanks to the fields and fields of sugar cane. I’ve used both these ingredients to make this beautiful, and quintessentially Southern, dessert. Molasses can be found in health food shops and all good supermarkets – it’s worth getting your hands on some if you can.

Start by making the pastry see sweet pastry recipe, adding the optional vanilla seeds and orange zest from the list of ingredients.

Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Take half your pecans and put them inside a clean tea towel or in a sandwich bag. Use a rolling pin to bash them up finely.

After the pastry has had 30 minutes in the fridge, continue through the method of the sweet pastry recipe until baked blind.

To make the filling, use a whisk to mix the eggs, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Add your finely bashed pecans and mix again with a spoon until completely blended and smooth. Add the molasses, melted butter and bourbon, mix well, then fold in your reserved whole pecans. Pour this mixture into the pastry case.

Put the tart into the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the filling starts setting at the sides.

Remove and leave to cool in its tin for an hour (if you can wait that long), to really help it set, before serving. I think a slice of slightly warm pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream is absolute heaven. Whether it’s delicious vegetarian or vegan recipes you’re after, or ideas for gluten or dairy-free dishes, you’ll find plenty here to inspire you. For more info on how we classify our lifestyle recipes please read our special diets fact sheet, or or for more information on how to plan your meals please see our special diets guidance.

Linked with thanks from http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/eggs-recipes/bourbon-pecan-tart/

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…And now for something completely different.

A variation on boring old plain pecans as a mid-morning snack, as a midnight snack, as nibbles, as garnish… Savoury Spiced Pecans

Fish and pecans? Whatever will they think of next?! Bourbon Brown Sugar Salmon

Now this next recipe sees our all-American theme and raises it to the next level – combining the two tried-and-true, American-as-apple-pie staples of pecans and cornbread, to create a whole new super-hybrid of incredibleness: Maple-Pecan Cornbread

And, if the constant seasonally-dictated shovelling of heavy comfort foods into one’s eager face looks like it might eventually tire you, we have a tasty solution! Voila: some fresh yet warming wintry pecan salads for your delectation.

Autumnal roast squash

Roast Butternut Squash and Pear Salad with a Spiced Pecan Vinaigrette

Warm Winter Chickpea Salad

…and of course, something sweet to finish…

Cherry Pecan Sticky Buns

Ahem. Now this, this looks good. Very good. Dangerously good. Excuse us…

The Urban Baker’s Butterscotch Pecan Ice Cream

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