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I just received a gift from a client of several pounds of roasted, salted Louisiana pecans. They are big and luscious - but I can't see that we'll ever consume so much. Is there a simple way to remove the salt so that I can use the pecans in recipes? Can I freeze them?

asked by latoscana almost 6 years ago
9 answers 915 views
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Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

added almost 6 years ago

You can definitely freeze them. I would rinse a small amount of them (1/2 cup), let them dry and taste them to see if that removes some of the salt. If the salt is powdered, it may be the only way to reduce it. But if the salt is still in crystals, I might just use the pecans as is in recipes -- even sweet recipes. As long as the recipe doesn't call for a large portion of the nuts, the salt may not be overwhelming once the pecans are incorporated into the recipe. Even pecan pie, I think, could be good with salted pecans to balance the sweetness.

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added almost 6 years ago

Yes, roasted and salted nuts can be frozen. But it's the holidays, and if you store them in an airtight tin or zipper bags, you'll have at least a month to share them as is with guests, add them to Chex Mix, bake a salted pecan pie or saute a pecan-crusted tilapia fillet.

One time, I really, really needed pecans and had only salted ones, so I tossed them in a terrycloth towel, thinking that shaking them would trap the salt in the towel, but pecans have an awful lot of nooks and crannies. I ended up rinsing them in tepid water, then draining them and spreading them on towels to dry very, very thoroughly.

Pralines, yum. Praline buttercream, made with pulverized pralines, to frost and fill a yellow birthday cake, yummier.

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added almost 6 years ago

Absolutely they can be frozen. Unless they are over-the-top salty, I wouldn't worry too much about trying to "de-salt" them. I buy roasted/salted pecans all the time for use in baking, and I find it gives that lovely contrast to the sweet....like fleur de sel caramels. It's especially good with chocolate. You may want to tone down the salt in the recipe to compensate, but usually I don't even do that.

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 6 years ago

Lucky you! (Pecans are my favorite.) I love everyone's suggestions--do save some for the summer and make caramel-salted pecan ice cream. You can also add them to salads--I like them with arugula and pears--the salt helps balance the flavors.

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added almost 6 years ago

How about pecan brittle? Make it now in time for holidays and give as gifts.

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amysarah

amysarah is a trusted home cook.

added almost 6 years ago

Old fashioned butter pecan ice cream made with salted pecans sounds like it would delicious.

Also, the Pioneer Woman's sweet potatoes have a pecan/brown sugar topping - I think using the salted pecans would work really well there.(I made it for Thanksgiving - delicious, but the recipe 'read' too sweet for me as a sidedish, so I cut down on the amount of sugar she calls for in the sweet potato mixture and also used part brown/part white sugar.) http://thepioneerwoman...

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added almost 6 years ago

You can send them to me and I'll make pralines. I'll even send you a batch in return!

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 6 years ago

Have you seen today's NY Times? Check out Harold McGee's column on making candy in the microwave. Here's his recipe for New Orleans pralines:
http://www.nytimes.com...

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added almost 6 years ago

Thanks for many mouth-watering ideas! I am going to start with Maida Heatter's Mocha Pecan Torte (3 1/2 c ground pecans). I'll try my hands at pralines and brittle (and thanks to Harold McGree for timely directions!) and saving for summer ice cream and salads sounds heavenly.