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I don’t cook much, but I do have a few specialties. One is my pecan patty recipe. Of course, saying it’s mine is only true in the sense that I’ve stolen my mom’s recipe and adapted it to John’s and my tastes. Thanks, Mom (Judy Sims):

Pecan Patties
This recipe is more feel than exact. You can substitute items, add to or subtract from it. The key is to ensure you’ve got enough herbs and spices to add the flavor you like. You can also make these vegan, but they don’t stick together nearly as well. If the eggs are large, you’ll need fewer. There’s a vegan variation at the end. Makes about 12-18 patties and takes about 20 minutes.

  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped fine (you can add in some chopped cashews if you’d like). If you like the flavor of walnuts better, you can replace the pecans with walnuts.
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (French bread or white works best) and/or cracker crumbs (I usually combine them), chopped fine
  • 1/2 onion (white or red OK), chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup chopped mushrooms, optional (Mom never adds these; I do for John and me)
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley flakes (fresh is better if you’ve got it; again, chopped fine; use more of the fresh than of the dried)
  • A dash of cayenne pepper
  • A couple of shakes of paprika (smoked is really nice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt or powder
  • A splash of soy sauce
  • Any other herbs or spices you have on hand; oregano, basil, cumin are all nice to add.
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 or 3 eggs, well beaten
  • Mix well.
  • Take a big spoonful (the mixture should stick together and form a ball easily) and drop into a frying pan with hot oil (don’t be stingy on the oil; you don’t want to deep fry these, but you need to do more than just moisten the pan). Flatten down slightly to form a patty. The heat should be on medium. Cook until golden brown. Flip and cook on other side. Remove from pan and place on paper towels to drain slightly. Quickly move to dry surface of a plate or casserole dish. Serve immediately.

    You can also cover with tomato sauce and grated cheese, any type of gravy, barbecue sauce, put in the oven to keep warm and serve.

    You can refrigerate overnight, reheat in the oven and serve.

    Vary the nuts, herbs and spices to achieve the flavor you like. My mom always adds cheese.

    Vegan Variation
    The key point is to leave out the eggs, but you still need the patties to stick together. Dissolving a little corn starch in cold water — about a teaspoon of cornstarch in about a 1/4 cup of water — should work as a substitute. It won’t stick together well, no matter what, and you’ll probably come up with something more like pecan patty crumbles, but it will still taste good. The crumbles would work well in a tomato sauce with pasta. Treat like a meat sauce.