One of the simplest pleasures of New Orleans is the praline. It's pronounced prah-leen, not pray-lean or rhyming with fraulein. And it's made with pecans. That's pah-cons, not pea-cans.
Now that we have that straight, here's a good recipe for them. I've tried ones made with cream, but they're a little too caramel-y, and ones that just have sugar and butter are too sugary. This recipe came out just like the ones that I first bought on the street more than 30 years ago.
Lori K's New Orleans Pralines
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup fat-free evaporated milk
2 ½ cups pecans, halved
1 tablespoon butter
Combine sugars and milk in a heavy 2-quart saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until mixture forms a thick syrup. If the mixture separates, whisk until smooth again.
Add pecans and butter and continue to cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for another 5 minutes.
Remove sauce pan to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes.
Use a tablespoon to drop rounded balls of the mixture onto sheet wax paper or foil, leaving about 3 inches between each ball for pralines to spread. Work quickly to get all of them made before the mixture starts to harden. Allow to cool.
Makes about 24 candies.