Several years ago (ok maybe a couple of decades or more), I went to visit one of my best friends ever who lived on Hinman Ave in Evanston, IL. A great place to live. Just a stone’s throw from downtown Chicago. They lived in this great old brick building with a quaint little apartment and a railroad track out the back. In the early evening, my friend Cathy and I were hanging out with her neighbor, a voice-over artist named Raymond. Kind of out of the blue, in his smooth, deep, rich baritone, Raymond posed the question, “Would you like to try my crunchy nuts?” Hmmm. What kind of question is that? Well, it’s one to which you should say “Yes, please!”
They were amazing! Sweet and salty, a little smoky and a zing of heat. Wow! Delicious! I’ve spent a good part of my life looking for a recipe that would duplicate those nuts. And this recipe might even raise the bar on Raymond’s Crunchy Nuts.
I can eat these pecans right off the baking pan (once they’re cooled), but I love putting them on a salad. They totally elevate any salad, instantly making it a dinner-party favorite. They would also be fabulous on vanilla ice cream. (!) Can you tell how much I love pecans? (Check out my Homemade Granola or my Chocolate-Coconut Pecan Tart for more Pecan recipes). And just say “yes” to the crunchy nuts! Enjoy!