Texas Pecan, “Pacane,” Stuffed Mushrooms
Texas pecan transforms these mushrooms into a tasty, crunchy treat. Try making them for a virtual meet-up. Stuff the mushrooms and hold them, then pop them in the oven so they’re ready for you to munch on and make your friends drool during your next Zoom, Skype, FaceTime or Jitsi happy hour.
Both the nut and the word pecan are Native American. European immigrants were not familiar with pecans, which reminded them of walnuts. In today’s Spanish-speaking communities of Texas, we call the pecan, nuez, (walnut, nut), which is what the Spaniards called the pecan.
Historians refer to the Algonquin words paccane or pacanes as they were used to refer to the nut-bearing trees growing in the upper North American region. Historical records indicate that the French started using pacane in the 1700s to refer to the nut-bearing trees along the Mississippi River region. By the late eighteenth century, pacane was used specifically for the pecan that is native to South Texas and northeastern Mexico.
Near Del Río, Texas, archaeological evidence dates the pecan back five thousand years. Native cooks would grind and mix them with seeds and grains for a nutritious protein-rich meal (Dial & Black, 2006). Cabeza de Vaca attested to this in the 1500s when he traveled along the San Antonio and Guadalupe Rivers, whose banks were lined with pecan groves (Cabeza de Vaca, 1542).
This recipe is from my new book, “Don’t Count The Tortillas: The Art of Texas Mexican Cooking.”
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Recipe for Texas Pecan Stuffed Mushrooms
Ingredients (makes 8 stuffed mushrooms)
8 large cremini mushrooms, about 2 to 21⁄2 inches in diameter (use button mushrooms if you can’t find cremini)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons Mexican or other brandy
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon butter, unsalted
1. Preheat oven to 350 ̊F.
2. Wipe clean the mushrooms and remove the stems.
3. Finely chop the mushroom stems and the pecans
4. Heat the olive oil in a 10- or 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the mushroom stems and pecans and sauté for 3 minutes.
5. Add the brandy (be careful because it may ignite) and cook until the brandy has evaporated, about 3 minutes.
6. Turn off the heat and add the butter. After the butter has melted, add the Parmesan cheese, parsley, and salt and combine thoroughly.
7. Fill the mushroom caps with the mixture and bake for 15 minutes or until the mushrooms are completely cooked and have started releasing their juice.