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by on February 8th, 2010

Honey Pecan Stuffed Snow Peas

I know you may be thinking “she’s crazy for stuffing those tiny little pods”, but they are always a hit a party.

When I started catering 20 years ago it seemed like everything idea I came up with involved a lot of time and handling of food. But, I have to say, those are usually the appetizers people go crazy for. Anyone can throw out a cheese tray or deli tray so I tend to like appetizers that people know you went to a little extra trouble making. I usually cringe when someone calls me and ask me if I do “trays”. What comes to mind when I think “trays” are piles of cheese or little hoagie sandwiches with those frilly little picks sticking out of the top.

I’ve stuffed black olives with pepperoni and then piped in a flavored cream cheese, I have stuffed rigatoni bites, and the Parmesan Bacon Wraps I make are to die for and they take a couple of hours almost in the oven.

This is a great little recipe I first tried about 10 years ago from “Come On In” cookbook. A few years ago I was catering a wedding and I had the menu all prepared for 75 guest. I had planned on doing these snow peas. Normally I would have done 150, which would have been 2 per person. Well, the guest list kept growing and growing and finally ended up at 225.  So the night before the wedding I’m sitting (by myself) stuffing 450 snow peas. I think it took me about 4 hours just to do the peas. After that, I never put them on the menu for 50 or more people — they just takes way too long to do these for large parties.

When my daughter was still living at home and she would go grocery shopping with me (and if I was shopping for a catering job) she would say “mom, you always buy in multiples”. I did, 4-6 lb. butter, 6 boxes broccoli, boxes of phyllo etc. I’m sure when people see me hand picking and counting my snow peas they think I’m either crazy or anal about my food. I just want the larger peas to stuff and I don’t want to get more than I really need or get the broken ones.

You shouldn’t let these stuffed peas scare you though because for a small party of 30-to even 40 they don’t take all that long.

After blanching for about 20 seconds, these are drying out waiting to be filled.

Pipe in a little filling.

Press some of the roasted nuts into each pea pod.

These are really pretty all lined up like little soldiers on a narrow tray. I do these year round but they make a perfect appetizer for a spring show, luncheon or wedding.

Honey Pecan Stuffed Snow Peas

1 c. pecans, chopped fine
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/4-1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1-8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
4 tsp. honey mustard
2 tsp. brown sugar
salt to taste
dash of cayenne pepper to taste
50-75 snow peas

You can either roast the pecans in the oven or microwave until lightly golden brown. I use the microwave and use a small baking stone. Put the melted butter with the pecan pieces and sprinkle with the salt and cayenne pepper. In microwave they will need about 2 minutes, in oven at 300° about 5-10 minutes.

Blanch the snow peas in boiling water for about 20 seconds. Drain and rinse in cold water and then put in ice water for a couple of minutes to stop cooking process.  Lay out on paper towels to dry.

Using a small paring knife, snip the end off and remove strings. Use the tip of the knife to slit the pods open. Be careful not to tear the pods.

Mix the cream cheese, honey mustard, brown sugar, salt and cayenne together in your electric mixer bowl. Beat until creamy and you have no lumps. Put this mixture in a decorating bag and pipe a small amount in each pea pod. You do now want them full of the cheese mixture because I think it is just too much cream cheese and you want to leave room for the nuts.

When you are finishing piping about 10-20 of  your peas, sprinkle some of the roasted pecans onto the cheese mixture and give them a little press. You can start lining these up on your serving dish. When you have finished filling all of them and have them on your tray,  cover with plastic wrap.

I think these are best done either the day of the party or one day before party.

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