The Chef is introducing a new feature called "Deal of the Day." You must act quickly to take advantage. As an example, today I was in line eating from a 99 cent bag of pecans and the Armenian fellow in front of me was eyeing my basket full of nuts; I offered him a pecan, he tasted, dropped his basket, went and grabbed four bags, then thanked me; meanwhile the Hispanic lady behind me grabbed a few pecan bags as well. The three of us depleted the pecan stock in a matter of seconds. So when the Chef posts "Deal of the Day," rush to your local 99c only Stores to take advantage; if you tarry please do not blame the Chef if "Deal of the Day" is not there when you arrive.
Today the 99c only Store, in Hollywood, has a four cheese pizza by Lean Cuisine. The Chef occasionally diets as much as the next person; while tasty, this is the most anemic frozen pizza out there. Hey, Lean Cuisine, how about less dough and more cheese. Don't believe the photo!
Back to pecans; what a thrill to see unsalted pecan halves in the 99c only Store. A remembrance of things delicious. What the Madeline is to Proust, the Pecan is to The 99 Cent Chef; a memory trigger to his southern past. One bite of a pecan and the levee of memory overflows. The Chef is flooded with images of his earliest youth under the shade of a pecan tree gathering its fallen crop for his "Nanny" (grandmother) to be turned into a warm pecan pie, while visiting her in Paris, Texas. The Chef is lucky that his mother still makes a pecan pie when he visits her in Louisiana.
Another pecan delicacy is the Praline, a sugary, nutty confection. If you visit the French Quarter in New Orleans, go to Praline Connection. They make a delicious Praline combining two of the Chef's favorite ingredients, Bourbon & pecans.
Bourbon Praline Ingredients
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup half & half cream
1 1/2 cups pecans
3 tablespoons butter
One 99 cent airline bottle of Bourbon
In a saucepan, bring cream and sugars to a low boil, stir with a wooden spoon until mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Add Bourbon, butter and pecans and continue stirring a couple of minutes. Turn off heat and allow to thicken slightly, then spoon cookie size amounts on wax paper a couple of inches apart to allow for spreading. The pralines will harden into soft candy as it cools down. Makes about a dozen pralines.