I was recently contacted by a wonderful new company called Amelia’s Spicing Pecans, a product line from a small company located in Birmingham, Alabama. I am partial to Birmingham, since I have family there, and my husband was born and raised there as well. Good food certainly comes from in and around Birmingham, so the pecans just had to be delicious!
Mike Rearden, owner of Amelia’s Spicing pecans, spoke with me by phone and described the cooking pecans to me. I was intrigued, and he shipped me a box to sample with their four flavor varieties, Hot & Spicy, Cinnamon, Coffee and Herb. He was kind enough to also include all four of the Amelia’s Spicing Pecan flavors for a giveaway, so one lucky reader will be sent a fantastic package! Make sure to leave your comment at the bottom of this post!
Upon arrival of the pecans, I began to think of ways to incorporate them into new and old recipes. Each was bursting with intense flavor, and I was skeptical how they would taste in actual dishes. After trying my hand at three recipes, I can safely say that Amelia’s Spicing Pecans were successful! In fact, Amelia’s Hot & Spicy Spicy Pecans just won 2nd place in the Hot Pepper Awards for Unique Dried Spice.
I first chose to make a favorite recipe of mine, similar to a New Orleans style dirty rice, but it also has crawfish as an ingredient. This recipe is perfect as a side dish to any chicken, ham or turkey dinner, and is delicious on it’s own. It is easy to prepare, and I incorporated Amelia’s Herb and Hot & Spicy pecans into the dish, which gave it great texture and a kick of spice. It was as amazing as I expected it to be.
My next recipe was a Hot & Spicy Shrimp Cheese Ball. I am so glad cheese balls are hip and back in style, as I personally never tire of this classic. I used Belle Chevre goat cheese, cream cheese, cooked and chopped gulf shrimp, and rolled the ball in the pecans. The result was drool worthy, and all who taste tested agreed. Again, a very easy and delicious recipe.
Last, I chose to create a Blueberry-Carrot Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce. I incorporated the Coffee Pecans into this dish, and they married beautifully with the aromatics of the carrot and rum.
There are limitless ways you can incorporate Amelia’s Spicing Pecans into your recipes and cooking style. Whether you crush them to create a coating for fish batter, add them to baking dishes, or roll them onto a Cheese Ball, the sky is the limit.
Hot & Spicy Shrimp Ball Recipe
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 4 oz goat cheese
- 1 tablespoon diced green chilies other mild chilies
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated garlic
- 2 tablespoons green onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 cup Gulf Shrimp, cooked, shelled, chopped
- 1/2 cup Amelia’s hot spicing pecans, (or toasted pecans) chopped
- Mix cream & goat cheese, chiles, garlic, green onion, and Old Bay Seasoning until smooth. Fold in green onions and shrimp. Pour mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper and roll into a ball. Wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Mix Amelia’s spicing pecans or the toasted nuts together in a shallow dish. Roll chilled shrimp ball in nuts, coating all sides. Serve with crackers.
Dirty Rice with Crawfish and Pecans:
- 1 pound bulk pork sausage
- 1 pound chicken livers, finely chopped
- 1 pound cooked Louisisana (not Chinese) crawfish
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1/4 cup Amelia’s Spicing Pecans-Herb
- 1/4 cup Amelia’s Spicing Pecans-Hot & Spicy
- 4 cups hot cooked rice
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Salt and black pepper both freshly ground
Cook the sausage and chicken livers in a large skillet until browned, then remove and set aside. Add about 2 table spoons of good olive oil or butter to the pan and saute cooked crawfish for 4-5 minutes, then remove and set aside. Add the vegetables to the pan and saute until soft. Add meat and crawfish back to pan, add the herb and hot & spicy pecans, then gently fold in the rice and parsley. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Note: Crawfish come fresh and frozen, already cleaned, shelled and vacuum packed. Pick up from your favorite Seafood Market or order online.
Blueberry-Carrot Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce
- 15 pieces whole wheat bread, diced (best if stale)
- 4 carrots finely shredded
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 8 ounces low fat cream cheese
- 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
- 8 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup half & half
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup Amelia’s Coffee Spicing Pecans
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1/4 cup apple sauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Dice bread and toss with carrots and blueberries
- Put bread blueberry-carrot mixture into greased 9×13 baking dish.
- In large bowl, whisk eggs with milk, brown sugar, cream, orange juice, pecans, butter, apple sauce, vanilla, and spices.
- Melt cream cheese in another bowl by microwave, and add to wet mixture.
- Pour wet mixture over top.
- Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes.
- Serve with Rum Sauce drizzled on top
- 1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup rum – the best you can afford
- In a heavy saucepan, combine both brown sugars, butter and water.
- Bring to a boil, stirring gently.
- Remove from heat.
- Cool slightly.
- Stir in the rum.
- Cool completely.
- Keep refrigerated.
Time for the Giveaway!
Leave a comment below, and tell me one way you would use Amelia’s Spicing Pecans!
The contest will close at midnight on Saturday January 7th, and a winner will be selected by random.org, with announcement on Sunday the 8th! Good Luck!