Christmas Chile-Spiced Pecans

This month marked a hodge-podge of holidayish themes here at Eliot’s Eats.   I definitely went down two different roads.   On the one hand, I highlighted some great culinary-themed books that you might want to gift to the foodie in your life.   Then, I pulled out some New Mexico-inspired holiday recipes just because….

I ended the book review posts with some books by and about famous chefs.   I am ending the NM theme today with a quick and easy and delicious nut recipe.   Use whatever nuts you like for this.  The original recipe calls for pistachios which are grown in New Mexico.  Who knew?  I substituted pecans because they’re grown in Oklahoma.

Christmas Chile-Spiced Pecans

Adapted from New Mexico Magazine, December 2015

Use both red and green chile powder for a Christmas effect.


  • 2 c. pecans, divided
  • 1 T. unsalted butter
  • 1 t. ground dried New Mexican red chile
  • 1 t. ground dried New Mexican green chile
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, divided


  1. Toast pecans in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
  2. Warm butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Stir in pecans, coating them on all sides with butter.
  4. Pull out one cup of butter coated pecans and place in a small bowl.
  5. Sprinkle in red chile and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, adding more if you wish after tasting.
  6. Repeat with remaining pecans but sprinkle with green chile and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  (I just tossed the pecans in bowls where I mixed the spice and salt together.)
  7. Dump pecans out onto absorbent paper to cool.
  8. Once cool, place in a sealable container.  (A jar works well.)
  9. Keeps for a couple of weeks at room temperature.

Obviously, you could use any spices you want with this highly versatile recipe.  I spotted some BBQ spice on the counter and was reminded of this.

I have also been highlighting some of my vintage holiday postcards from my grandfather’s collection.  My grandfather is “Lloyd” and the recipient of this card of old.   I’m not sure who W.A.C. was.  Perhaps a secret Santa?

My last holiday post for this season will feature my grandmother’s (Lloyd’s wife) fruitcake.

‘Tis the season!

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My Favorite Reads

Eat, Pray, Love
Running with Scissors
SantaLand Diaries
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Angela's Ashes
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
My Life in France
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, and Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living
Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise
A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table
Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table
The Liars' Club
Code Name Verity
The Paris Wife
The Shoemaker's Wife
The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo: A Novel
Brother of the More Famous Jack
Burying the Honeysuckle Girls

Debra's favorite books »

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